Terms of Reference & scheme of delegation

Date Adopted: April 2019 Min: 36/19/TC
Review Date: May 20 Min: 57/20/TC

Committees generally

Frequency

Committees shall meet according to the agreed schedule or as often as it deems appropriate (being not less than three times in each Town Council year) to keep abreast of developments relating to functions and authority. Meetings shall be held at Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council offices unless that is impractical, or it is thought advisable to hold meetings elsewhere, in which case an alternative suitable venue in either Burnham-on-Sea or Highbridge shall be used.

Quorum

For all Committee meetings to proceed a quorum of three is required.

Openness

The Committee meeting will be open to the press and public in line with legislation. However, 

a Committee may resolve to exclude the press and public from part or all of the meeting when discussing confidential matters not in the public interest. The Committee may choose to appoint sub-committees, which are not required to be open to the press and public. Such a decision must be in accordance with the appropriate legislation and/or relevant guidance.

Minutes

Minutes of the Committee’s meetings will be produced as soon as possible after the meeting and marked with a DRAFT watermark before being uploaded to the Town Council website. Draft minutes will be distributed by the Town Clerk, or as delegated by the Town Clerk, with the agenda for the next meeting. Notice of meetings, with minutes, agendas and other papers shall, where practical, be distributed to the Committee’s members electronically by email. If individual Members so request, an additional hard copy will be provided to them. 

Delegated authority

Committees may exercise delegated functions on behalf of the Town Council under the following terms of reference, subject to:

(a) The Town Council’s approved budget and Financial Regulations;

(b) Any previous minuted decision of the Town Council;

(c) Any matters reserved to the Town Council by law.

When matters overlap, each committee shall liaise with other committees as required. All Committees working with particular staff shall direct HR issues to the HR Committee.

Matters delegated to any committee may be referred back to Council either by the Committee or at the request of the Town Council.

1.Finance & Resources Committee

The Finance and Resources Committee is the primary Committee of the Town Council and considers the broad economic needs of the towns and the financial position of the Town Council, including managing the portfolio of property. The financial decisions and recommendations of the Committee will impact on the operations of other committees.

Membership

  • To be decided at the Annual Town Council meeting. 

Delegated business

  • The Council has delegated day-to-day management of the budget to the Responsible Financial Officer (ref: section 9 of these Terms of Reference)
  • The Committee has delegated authority to exercise the powers of the Town Council in regard to:
    • Consideration and determination of all financial matters of the Council unless otherwise delegated, with the exception of those reserved by statute;
    • To take a view on the income derived from functions of other Committees, and comment as required;
    • Management of the Council’s expenditure and budgetary controls;
    • Awarding grants and donations within the agreed criteria and budget of the Town Council. (Budgets assigned to other committees shall not be used to award grants);
    • To administer any lease and maintenance of any properties owned by the Town Council (including allotments sites);
    • Use of assets and routine management of property i.e. buildings and allotments (but not cemeteries or the Princess Theatre, which come under the authority of others);  
    • To review allotment rent charges by December each year and to notify tenants by the following March;
    • To maintain an overview of staffing as a resource (delegated authority relating to personnel rests with the Town Clerk and Human Resources sub-committee).
    • To monitor health & safety at town Council properties and ensure a safe working environment for staff, service users and visitors;  
    • Approval to adopt financial policies, except those relating to key governance which are reviewed by full Council;
    • Appointment of an internal auditor;
    • To receive, and where appropriate, respond to any internal audit reports;
    • To review and approve the policies and policy statements of the Council that relate to property or finance, and other general policy statements, other than the key policies as detailed under term 1.4.6;
    • To respond to consultative documents from Government and other bodies, other than those specifically allocated to other Committees or Sub-Committees.

Referred Business

  • To make recommendations to the Town Council in regard to:
    • The setting of the annual Budget and Precept;
    • Unplanned expenditure (outside of budget);
    • The setting of any allowances payable to Members;
    • Monitoring of joint agreements with other authorities;
    • Strategic management of property (buildings and open spaces);
    • Key financial procedures and policies requiring annual review: governance documents including Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, Terms of Reference & Scheme of Delegation;
    • Reviews of internal audit reports;
    • Consideration of any major Council civic/ceremonial event proposed that requires funding.

Generally

  • To prepare its Committee budget estimates no later than November each year.
  • To set up sub-committees and working groups as necessary.
  • To undertake any other matter referred to the Finance & Resources Committee by the Town Council, that is not already within the terms of their reference.

2.Planning Committee

Membership

  • To be decided at the Annual Town Council meeting. 

Delegated Business

  • The Committee has delegated authority to deal with the following matters to conclusion:
  • At three-weekly meetings, to consider all planning applications sent for consultation from Sedgemoor District Council; 
  • To comment on behalf of the Town Council on planning applications; 
  • To delegate to the Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman or Deputy Chairman, to respond on minor, non-contentious applications;
  • To make recommendations on requests for street naming and highways signage; 
  • To deal with requests for consultation responses for street trading licenses and to deal with matters pertaining to Licensing Acts; 
  • To consider and resolve issues affecting roads, highways, development, environment or relating to planning matters upon which the Town Council is consulted or in which to the Town Council has an interest;
  • To respond to all Major strategic planning applications subsequent to comment by the Town Council and outline permission having been granted by the Planning Authority;
  • Consultation on Local Plans, Waste and Mineral Plans;

 Referred Business

  • To consider and make recommendations to the Town Council on the following matters:
  • All initial planning applications of a Major strategic nature;
  • All Major development proposals affecting the environment of the towns’ centres and the towns as a whole;
  • Permanent or substantial changes to footpaths bridle ways and rights of way.

Generally

  • To prepare its Committee budget estimates no later than November each year.
  • To set up sub-committees and working groups as necessary.
  • To undertake any other matter referred to the Planning Committee by the Town Council, that is not already within the terms of reference.

3.Town Improvements Committee

Membership

  • To be decided at the Annual Town Council meeting. 

Delegated business

  • The Committee has delegated authority to deal with the following matters to conclusion:
    • To ensure that the Council’s public seats, waste bins, notice boards, flag poles, town centre finger posts, lighting and other street furniture are maintained and replaced as necessary (other than those in areas controlled by other committees);
    • To ensure that the Council’s bus shelters are cleaned and maintained;
    • To resolve to provide new equipment or furniture, within the planned budget of the Committee;
    • To ensure that the litter situation throughout the towns is monitored and to make arrangements with the District Council, as necessary;
    • To consider and address matters relating to street cleaning (including dog waste); 
    • To ensure that the Victorian Water fountain at Sea View Road and the water feature at Old Station Approach is maintained as appropriate;
    • To ensure that the War Memorial in Highbridge is maintained as appropriate;
    • To ensure that the old railway features through the towns are maintained as appropriate;
    • To manage and monitor the activities undertaken within the Council’s community events programme including Armed Forces Day, Annual Fireworks Display (not including the civic service or other civic events organised by the Mayor’s office);
    • To consider the provision of markets within the towns;
    • To oversee floral and bedding plant provision;
    • To approve any artwork or other aesthetics;
    • To monitor CCTV provision and crime and disorder in the town;
    • To maintain and improve amenities;
    • To make observations as necessary to the responsible authority or organisation on matters affecting the environment and public transport in the town;
    • To manage the Council’s tourism and destination marketing initiatives.

Referred business

  • To consider and make recommendations to the Town Council on the following matters:
  • Initiatives for new events/projects requiring allocation of budget that would bring benefit to either town.

Generally

  • To prepare its Committee budget estimates no later than November each year.
  • To set up sub-committees and working groups as necessary.
  • To undertake any other matter referred to the Town Improvements Committee by the Town Council, that is not already within the terms of reference.

4.Princess Management Committee

Membership

  • To be decided at the Annual Town Council meeting. 

Delegated Business

  • The Committee has delegated authority to deal with the following matters to conclusion:
    • Administration, maintenance and use of the Princess Theatre & Arts Centre and its equipment;
      1. To consider the provision of new or replacement equipment or furniture within budget;
    • Setting of fees and conditions of use, provision of equipment by users of all areas of the facility; 
    • Liaison with community organisations that have an interest in the theatre or entertainment facilities in the town.

Referred Business

  • To consider and make recommendations to the Town Council and/or Finance & Resources Committee on the following matters:
    • Initiatives for new shows/events requiring allocation of budget and that would increase amenity and/or income;
    • Recommendations on any material changes affecting the legal status of the management of the facility.
  • To refer to and liaise with the Human Resources Committee on matters of a grievance, disciplinary, capability or performance nature. 

Generally

  • To prepare its Committee budget estimates no later than November each year.
  • To set up sub-committees and working groups as necessary.
  • To undertake any other matter referred to the Princess Management Committee by the Town Council, that is not already within the terms of reference.

5.Burial Committee

The Town Council owns and operates three cemeteries under The Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977.

Membership

  • To be decided at the Annual Town Council meeting. 

Delegated Business

  • The Committee has delegated authority to deal with the following matters to conclusion:
    • To monitor the long term direction, use and capacity of the cemeteries;
    • To direct the maintenance of the cemeteries, equipment and property within agreed budget;
    • Review of the charges levied for the use of the cemeteries and any associated facilities;
    • To take decisions on landscaping and tree management in consultation with an appropriate arboriculturalist;
    • To adopt procedures that support the operation of the cemeteries and ensure safety and dignity;
    • To monitor adherence to the rules and regulations pertaining to interments and memorials;
    • To ensure that correct and full records of burials and cremation plots are complete and maintained.
  • To refer to and liaise with the Human Resources Committee on matters of a grievance, disciplinary, capability or performance nature. 

Referred business

  • To consider and make recommendations to the Town Council and/or Finance & Resources Committee on the following matters:
    • Any changes to the future use or capacity of the burial grounds that requires additional budgetary provision.

Generally

  • To prepare its Committee budget estimates no later than November each year.
  • To set up sub-committees and working groups as necessary.
  • To undertake any other matter referred to the Burial Committee by the Town Council, that is not already within the terms of reference.

6.Human Resources Sub-Committee

The Human Resources Sub-Committee considers all matters of human resources including staff establishment, grading and conditions of service, as well as training and related functions for councillors. 

Members wishing to serve on this sub-committee should possess some qualifications and/or experience in the area of personnel matters. Members of the sub-committee will be provided with relevant training, which they will be expected to attend. 

Membership

  • seven members

Parent Committee

  • The Sub-Committee reports to the Finance & Resources Committee

 

 Delegated Business 

  • The Committee has delegated authority to deal with the following matters to conclusion:
    • To oversee the recruitment of staff, carried out either by itself or in liaison with another Committee (other than recruitment delegated to the Town Clerk);
    • To arrange for the execution of new employment contracts, changes to contracts and conditions of service;
    • To annually review and consider the staff organisational structure and staffing levels;
    • To periodically review the Employee Handbook;
    • To keep under review the appointment of the Council’s HR advisors;
    • To liaise with the Town Clerk to determine the training and staff qualification needs of the Council for the purposes of recruitment and budget setting;
    • To work with the Town Clerk in the preparation of job descriptions & person specifications;
    • To review the results of performance management processes undertaken by the Town Clerk, including annual appraisals and contractual salary increments awarded;
    • To carry out performance reviews, including appraisals, of the Town Clerk;
    • To monitor and address regular or sustained staff absence;
    • To review the procedures for dealing with grievances, disciplinary action and appeals;
    • To oversee any processes leading to dismissal of staff (ref: term 6.3(3), including redundancy as approved by the Town Council;
    • Agree schemes for the employment of people under apprenticeship, job creation and youth training programmes;
    • To determine and approve the pay scales and grading of all posts, within agreed budget;
    • To oversee the Council’s pension policy and the criteria required for eligibility;
    • To keep under review staff working conditions and matters of health & safety; 
    • To determine the policy for the designation of staff as casual or essential car users;
    • To approve and adopt HR policies, including health & safety and to approve general policy statements
    • To authorise, within budget, Members’ attendance at conferences, courses and meetings;
    • To monitor the training needs of the Council and Members training records;
    • To make appointments to outside bodies when a vacancy is created between Annual Meetings of the Council;

 Referred business

  • To consider and make recommendations to the Town Council and/or Finance & Resources Committee on the following matters:
    • Determination of the Council’s policy on deployment, welfare, superannuation, remuneration;
    • To make recommendations to the Town Council on staffing matters outside of agreed budgets;
    • To make recommendations to the Town Council on the dismissal or disciplinary by the sub-committee of the Town Clerk;
    • To make any recommendations for change to the staffing organisational structure & staff levels that fall outside of budget
    • To make any recommendations for changes to the pension policy and the criteria required for eligibility;
    • To make recommendations to the Town Council on Members’ training records as relevant to Committee membership.

Generally 

  • To prepare its Committee budget estimates no later than November each year.
  • To set up working groups as necessary.
  • To undertake any other matter referred to the Human Resources sub-committee by the Town Council, that is not already within the terms of reference.

7.Grievance Panel

It is the policy of the Town Council to give employees the opportunity to air and seek redress for any employment grievance they may have and the Council will aim to facilitate a speedy, fair and consistent solution. The procedure followed is determined by the policy laid down in the Staff Handbook. 

Membership

  • Three members of the Human Resources Sub-Committee 

Parent Committee

  • The Panel reports to the Human Resources Sub-Committee 

Delegated Business

  • The Panel has delegated authority to deal with the following matters to conclusion:
    • To hear and consider any grievances raised by members of staff in accordance with the Grievance Policy contained in the staff Handbook.

8.Appeals Panel

The Appeals Panel will be independent from any earlier procedures.

Membership

  • Two members of the Human Resources sub-Committee with the Mayor as chairman, or where this is not practical, three Members of the Town Council.

Delegated Business

  • The Panel has delegated authority to deal with the following matters to conclusion:
    • To hear appeals from an employee against a decision of the grievance process;
    • To hear appeals against a disciplinary decision according to the Disciplinary Policy as laid down in the Employee Handbook.
  • The decisions of the Appeals Panel are final and are notified to the Town Council. 

9.Allotments Sub-Committee Terms of Reference

The Town Council leases the allotment site at Love Lane, Burnham-on-Sea to the Allotment Tenants Association. The current lease is due to expire in September 2020.

The Town Council owns and manages the allotment site at Walrow, Highbridge. There are 36 plots and 29 tenants.

Meetings will be scheduled twice per year in January and July with additional meetings called as required.

Membership

  • Five members  

Parent Committee

  • The Sub-Committee reports to the Finance and Resources Committee 

Delegated business

  • The Town Council office is the primary liaison point for the day to day management of the allotment sites.
    • The Sub-Committee has delegated authority to exercise the powers of the Finance & Resources Committee in regard to:
    • Overseeing the management, maintenance, upkeep and improvement of the allotments to maximise the occupancy of the sites
    • Developing and promoting projects that relate to the upgrading and improvement of the sites
    • Responsibility for monitoring the terms set under the allotment plot leases.
    • Responsibility for ensuring adherence to the Town Council’s Health & Safety Policy on the allotment sites.
    • Liaising with site spokesmen on site matters
    • To work in partnership with the appropriate funding bodies to help provide, improve and upgrade allotment facilities for the benefit of the towns.

Referred Business

  • To make recommendations to the Finance & Resources Committee in regard to:
  • Review of charges and fees relating to allotment sites
  • Review of the terms within leases of plots
  • Expenditure recommended to maintain or improve the sites

Generally

  • To make budget recommendations to the parent committee no later than September each year.
  • To undertake any other matter referred to the Allotments Sub-Committee by the Finance & Resources Committee, that is not already within the terms of reference.

SCHEME OF DELEGATIONS

General

  • Where powers or duties have been delegated to a committee, it shall be competent for that Committee to in turn assign functions or delegate powers and duties to the Town Clerk or a sub-committee. Any action taken under delegated powers by the Town Clerk or a sub-committee shall be reported to the next meeting of the appointing committee for information.
  • Any power or duty delegated under this scheme is subject to Town Council policy and the approved budget, and may also be exercised by the Town Council or any Committee which has delegated or further delegated that power or duty.

Chairman

  • The Town Clerk may, in consultation with the chairman and/or vice-chairman of a committee or sub-committee, on that committee’s or Sub-Committee’s behalf, deal with, decide or take action on such matters within the committee’s or sub-committee’s terms of reference as will not admit of delay. Any such action will be notified to the next meeting of the appropriate committee or sub-committee.
  • That point 9.3 is taken to include the Town Mayor in the absence of either the Committee chairman or vice chairman.

Delegation to the Town Clerk

  • The Town Clerk is the Proper Officer of the Town Council and will carry out the functions of the Proper Officer as designated under the Local Government Act 1972 and any other statute requiring the designation of Proper Officer.  
  • The following list of delegations to the Town Clerk may, if appropriate, be further delegated to the Council’s officers at the discretion of the Town Clerk:
    • Arrange and call meetings of the Town Council and its committees and sub-committees and to implement the decisions resolved;
    • The usual administrative clerking functions of identified standing committees (for example, Planning Committee and Burial Committee);
    • The general management of the Council’s services in accordance with the policies determined;
    • To sign any agreements, contracts, conveyances, licenses, consents, approvals, etc., on behalf of the Council;
    • The management and letting of the Town Council’s facilities, as agreed with the relevant Committee;
    • The determination of the use of existing office accommodation, the purchase of equipment and the authorisation of repairs and maintenance to all buildings and equipment within the agreed budget;
    • The management, development and appraisal of employees; 
    • The approval for payment of salary increments, under contract, based on performance reviews;
    • Approval of staff to attend training courses, seminars, etc. relevant to their position with the Council subject to agreed training budget and a six-monthly update report to the Human Resources Committee;
    • To consider and grant dispensations to Members as detailed under Standing Orders;
    • Any action necessary in an emergency to protect the Council’s property or assets or minimise its liabilities, subject to consultation where practicable with the Mayor or Deputy Mayor and to report back to the next appropriate Council meeting.
  • The Council, its committees or sub-committees may from time to time further delegate to the Town Clerk or to the Town Clerk in consultation with the appropriate committee chairman. Such delegation will be clearly minuted and reported upon.

Delegations to the Responsible Financial Officer

  • The Council has, under the Local Government Act 1972, delegated day-to-day management of the budget to the Responsible Financial Officer, subject to Proper Practices and within spending limits agreed in the budget, as recorded in the Council’s Financial Regulations. To include: 
    • Maintenance of the Council’s accounts, arrangements for internal audit and the preparation of budget estimates for the forthcoming year;
    • To rollover remaining budget to an appropriate reserve at year end where that budget is identified as needed to fund an outstanding payment or purchase. Any rollover will be reported to the next Finance & Resources Committee; 
    • In consultation with the Town Clerk, carry out virements up to the value of £1000 to meet identified need in another budget. Any virement will be reported to the next Finance & Resources Committee;  
    • To make arrangements to pay the salaries and wages of employees of the Council, including the payment of any annual percentage increases determined by Local Agreement of, and affecting contracts under, the National Joint Council for Local Government Services.

–End–

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