Councils operate within agreed policy rules, mostly derived from legislation, and from nationally circulated codes of practice. National Guidance comes from NALC (National Association of Local Councils) via its county association SALC (Somerset Association of Local Councils)
It is the Council’s responsibility to exercise its powers and duties in accordance with these rules. They are advised in their deliberations by the Clerk to the Council, who is also responsible for administration and taking any actions that the Council directs. The Clerk, who is a part-time employee of the Council, is also The Responsible Financial Officer.
The Council regulates its proceedings through Standing Orders. These set out the rules of debate, public and press access, how questions are handled, procedures for electing the Chairman, and for establishing Committees. They are based on a national Model, and can be downloaded here.
Also based on a national model, these regulations set out how Council manage public funds, arrange banking and enter into contracts. They can be downloaded here.
Members Code of Conduct
Members are expected to abide by the the Council’s own Code of Conduct which is a personalised version of a model document supplied by NALC and is available here.
Councillors will have in mind the national guidance prepared for them and contained in the booklet Good Councillors Guide
Register of Interests
Councillors are required to make a declaration of disclosable pecuniary interests, and have volunteered to disclose their non-pecuniary interests, by placing them on a Public Register that is hosted on South Somerset District Council’s website. You can view the register for this, and any other parish in South Somerset, here.
Freedom of Information Act
Council is obliged to comply with the the ‘Freedom of Information Act’ and prepare and publish a Statutory Publication Scheme which can be downloaded here. A paper copy can be made available on application to the clerk.