Committee Terms of Reference

Meetings of Houghton Regis Town Council are to be conducted in accordance with the approved Standing Orders of Houghton Regis Town Council (dated 24th June 2013)

 A council can arrange to have any of its functions, except five, exercised by a committee, which can in turn, arrange to have them exercise by a sub committee (Local Government Act 1972 s101).

 The five exceptions are:

  1. The determination of its own overall borrowing    limit;
  2. The determination of its short term borrowing limit;
  3. The determination of the amount of interest payable by it at rates variable by a lender or which are controlled by external factors;
  4. The issue of a precept;
  5. The approval of a lottery scheme

Committee Structure 2013/2014 

 

Committees Reporting to Town Council

  • Corporate Services Committee (also Complaints Committee)
  • Houghton Regis Town Partnership
  • Environment & Leisure Committee   
  • Planning & Licensing Committee
  • Community Services Committee
  • Complaints Sub Committee
  • Complaints Appeals Sub Committee

 

Committees & Sub Committees Reporting to Corporate Services Committe

  • Personnel Committee
  • Grievance Committee
  • Accounts Sub Committee

 

Working Groups Reporting to Town Council

  • Proposed New Cemetery Working Group

 

Working Groups Reporting To Corporate Services Committee

  • Strategic Development Working Party

 

Working Groups Reporting To Community Services Committee

  • Events Working Group
  • Pride of Houghton Working Group
  • Combating Crime Working Group

 * * * * * * *

Town Council

Functions

 At the Annual meeting to conduct business in accordance with Standing Order 2.10 as follows:

To elect the Mayor (Chairman) and Deputy Mayor (Vice Chairman)

  1. In an election year, delivery by councillors of their declarations of acceptance of office.
  2. Confirmation of the accuracy of the minutes of the last meeting of the Council and to receive and note minutes of and/or to determine recommendations made by committees.
  3. Review of delegation arrangements to committees, sub-committees, employees and other local authorities.
  4. Review of the terms of references for committees.
  5. Receipt of nominations to existing committees.
  6. Appointment of any new committees, confirmation of the terms of reference, the number of members (including, if appropriate, substitute councillors) and receipt of nominations to them.
  7. Review of representation on or work with external bodies and arrangements for reporting back.
  8. Setting the dates, times and place of ordinary meetings of the full Council, Committees and Sub Committees for the year ahead.

At other meetings of the Council:

  • To annually review the Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, Health and Safety Policy, equality & diversity policy and the Committee Functions and Terms of Reference
  • To receive reports from committees and recommendations made therein.
  • To receive reports from the police.
  • To receive the Town Mayors announcements.
  • To consider and approve any short or long term borrowing requirements including interest rates and borrowing period;
  • To approve a 4 year rolling programme of policy review
  • Give due consideration to any requests for the photographing, recording, broadcasting or transmitting the proceedings of a meeting.
  • Before the end of January to determine the Council’s overall budget for the forthcoming financial year and to set the precept accordingly.
  • To receive auditors' reports and other comments and make recommendations as to any policy matters arising from them.
Terms of Reference
  • The Town Council consists of all councillors.
  • The quorum shall be one third of all councilors (five
  • In an election year, the annual meeting of the Council shall be held on or within 14 days following the day on which the new councillors elected take office
  • In a year which is not an election year, the annual meeting of a Council shall be held on such day in May as the Council may direct.
  • If no other time is fixed, the annual meeting of the Council shall take place at 6pm.
  • In addition to the annual meeting of the Council, at least three other ordinary meetings shall be held in each year on such dates and times as the Council directs.

 * * * * * 

 

Corporate Services Committee (and Complaints Committee)

Membership of the Complaints Committee shall be the membership of the Corporate Services Committee.

Functions

  • To consider any matters referred to it by the Council or other Committees.
  • To respond on behalf of the Council to initiatives from other organisations relating to matters under the Committee's jurisdiction.
  • To exercise management of health and safety issues in respect of all the services of this Committee.
  • To consider and determine any new contracts and any renewals of existing contracts under the jurisdiction of this committee.
  • Review of arrangements, including any charters, with other local authorities and review of contributions made to expenditure incurred by other local authorities.
  • Review of the Council’s and/or employees’ memberships of other bodies.
  • To manage and maintain the Council Offices including office equipment and furniture.
  • Reviewing the Council’s procedures for handling requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998 and to take action to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • To exercise overall responsibility for staffing issues, including appointment of staff (apart from the Town Clerk, who shall be appointed by the Town Council)
  • To oversee and manage the financial obligations of the Council. 
  • Review and confirmation of arrangements for insurance cover in respect of all insured risks.
  • To recommend to Council the writing off of irrecoverable amounts.
  • To assemble and submit to the Town Council estimates of income and expenditure for each financial year in respect of all the services of this Committee no later than 30th November each year.
  • To monitor periodically the expenditure of the Committee.
  • To consider and determine any proposed expenditure or reduction in income for which no provision has been made in the approved budget.
  • To set the level of charges for facilities in respect of all the services of this Committee.
  • To act as the Complaints Committee in accordance with the Council’s approved Complaints Procedure, including:
  • Reviewing the Council’s complaints procedure.
  • To report findings from the Complaints committee to Town Council
  • To consider complaints, that cannot be satisfied by less formal measures or explanations, made about the administration of the council or about its procedures. It does not cover complaints against an employee or against a councillor.
Terms of Reference
  • The Corporate Services Committee (Complaints Committee) shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Corporate Services Committee shall consist of seven Councillors. The quorum shall be half of its members (four).
  • To appoint sub-committees or working groups as necessary including setting out membership and terms of reference.

 

 * * * * * 

Houghton Regis Town Partnership

This is a joint Houghton Regis Town Council and Central Bedfordshire Council committee. See Appendix A, attached, for relevant Terms of Reference.

 * * * * * 

Environment & Leisure Committee

Functions

  • To consider any matters referred to it by the Council or other Committees.
  • To respond on behalf of the Council to initiatives from other organisations relating to matters under the Committee's jurisdiction.
  • To exercise management of health and safety issues in respect of all the services of this Committee.
  • To consider and determine any new contracts and any renewals of existing contracts under the jurisdiction of this committee.
  • To assemble and submit to the Town Council estimates of income and expenditure for each financial year in respect of all the services of this Committee no later than 30th November each year.
  • To monitor periodically the expenditure of the Committee.
  • To consider and determine any proposed expenditure or reduction in income for which no provision has been made in the approved budget. To set the level of charges for facilities in respect of all the services of this Committee and to control the collection of revenues thereof.
  • Annually review its inventory of land and assets including buildings.
  • To provide and maintain all recreation grounds and pavilions, open spaces and play areas in the control of the Council.
  • To manage and maintain sports provision including football pitches, the bowls green and cricket table.
  • To manage and maintain the Houghton Regis Town Cemetery and All Saints Churchyard.
  • To provide and maintain bus shelters, seats, noticeboards, litterbins and dog waste bins.
  • To purchase and maintain such vehicles and equipment as may be required to carry out the Council's duties in connection with the facilities under the control of the Committee.
  • To monitor all matters relating to leases and bye-laws in connection with the facilities under the control of the Committee.
Terms of Reference
  • The Environment Committee shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Environment Committee shall consist of seven Councillors. The quorum shall be half of its members (four).
  • To appoint sub-committees or working groups as necessary including setting out membership and terms of reference.

 

 * * * * * 

Planning and Licensing Committee

Functions
  • To consider any matters referred to it by the Council or other Committees.
  • To respond on behalf of the Council to initiatives from other organisations relating to matters under the Committee's jurisdiction.
  • To exercise management of health and safety issues in respect of all the services of this Committee.
  • To assemble and submit to the Town Council estimates of income and expenditure for each financial year in respect of all the services of this Committee no later than 30th November each year.
  • To monitor periodically the expenditure of the Committee.
  • To consider and determine any new contracts and any renewals of existing contracts under the jurisdiction of this committee.
  • To consider and determine any proposed expenditure or reduction in income for which no provision has been made in the approved budget.
  • To consider all planning related applications and notices within the Parish and to make representations to the appropriate authority on behalf of the Town Council.
  • To consider all matters relating to highways, byways, bridleways and footpaths.
  • To consider applications relating to new or proposed listed buildings, conservation areas, tree preservation orders and building preservation orders and to make representations to the appropriate authority on behalf of the Town Council.
  • To consider matters relating to licensing regulations and applications and to make representations to the appropriate authority on behalf of the Town Council.
Terms of Reference
  • The Planning & Licensing Committee shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Planning & Licensing Committee shall consist of seven Councillors. The quorum shall be half of its members (four).
  • To appoint sub-committees or working groups as necessary including setting out membership and terms of reference.

 

 * * * * * 

Community Services Committee

  • To consider any matters referred to it by the Council or other Committees.
  • To respond on behalf of the Council to initiatives from other organisations relating to matters under the Committee's jurisdiction.
  • To exercise management of health and safety issues in respect of all the services of this Committee.
  • To assemble and submit to the Town Council estimates of income and expenditure for each financial year in respect of all the services of this Committee no later than 30th November each year.
  • To monitor periodically the expenditure of the Committee.
  • To consider and determine any proposed expenditure or reduction in income for which no provision has been made in the approved budget.
  • To set the level of charges for facilities in respect of all the services of this Committee.
  • To consider and determine any new contracts and any renewals of existing contracts under the jurisdiction of this committee.
  • To encourage and regulate activities and events at Council properties, venues and locations.
  • To advise Environment & Leisure Committee of events using land / buildings
  • To award financial grants to local organisations within an overall budget approved by the Town Council
  • To review the grant application process as necessary
  • To oversee and manage the promotion of the Town and the Council, including the council’s newsletter and website,Christmas lights, Pride of Houghton, events
  • Consider community service provision provided by outside organisations
  • To provide community support to enhance community service provision
  • To liaise with other organisations on community issues
Terms of Reference
  • The Community Services Committee shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Community Services Committee shall consist of seven Councillors. The quorum shall be half of its members (four).
  • To appoint sub-committees or working groups as necessary including setting out membership and terms of reference.

 

 * * * * * 

Personnel Committee (reporting to Corporate Services Committee)

Functions

  • To determine staff conditions of service including salary scales, working hours, employee assessments and evaluations etc and make recommendations to Corporate Services Committee.
  • To carry out disciplinary hearings in line with current national and council policy
  • To consider and determine staff and Member training requirements
  • To report to the Corporate Services Committee on the outcome of its deliberations
  • To annually review the training statement of intent
  • To receive a training forecast for employees no later than November

Terms of Reference

  • The Personnel Committee shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Personnel Committee shall consist of three councillors. The quorum shall be half its members (2).

 

 * * * * * 

Grievance (Appeals) Committee (reporting to Corporate Services Committee)

Functions

  • To consider any grievances pursued beyond staff levels
  • To report its decisions to Corporate Services Committee

Terms of  Reference

  • The Grievance (Appeals) Committee shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Grievance (Appeals) Committee shall consist of three councillors, no member must be a member of the Personnel Committee. The committee must meet with full membership (3).

 

 * * * * * 

Accounts Sub Committee (reporting to Corporate Services Committee)

Functions

  • To confirm that there is adequate supporting documentation for each account presented for payment.
  • To confirm that cheques are correctly completed.
  • To sign cheques as appropriate.
  • At the first meeting after the Annual meeting in May;
  • To annually review the Council’s Banking Arrangements / Investment Policy
  • To receive an annual report (based on the previous financial year) on loans taken out, repayments made and outstanding liability
  • Approximately 1 month before an investment matures to receive a report containing a forecast of capital expenditure, investment opportunities and a recommendation for further investment including where, length and amount
  • Accounts may be paid between meetings if the Clerk considers this to be necessary. Any such payments shall be reported to the next meeting of the Sub-Committee.
  • To receive quarterly reports on investments
  • To report to the Corporate Services Committee on the outcome if its deliberations.
Terms of Reference
  • The Accounts Sub Committee shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Accounts Sub-Committee shall consist of four Councillors. The quorum shall be half of its members (2).
  • The chair shall be a member of the Corporate Services Committee.

 

 * * * * * 

Complaints Sub Committee (reporting to Town Council) 

Functions

  • To consider and make recommendations on any complaints received which fall under the approved Complaints Policy:
  • To report its deliberations to Town Council;

Terms of Reference

  • The Sub Committee shall comprise 3 councillors;
  • The quorum shall be half of its members (two).

 

 * * * * * 

Complaints Appeals Sub Committee (reporting to Town Council)

Functions

  • To consider and make recommendations on any appeals which relate to complaints received which fall under the approved Complaints Policy:
  • To report its deliberations to Town Council;

Terms of Reference

  • The Sub Committee shall comprise 3 councillors;
  • The quorum shall be half of its members (two).

 

 * * * * * 

Strategic Development Working Group (reporting to Corporate Services Committee)

 Functions

  • To consider matters surrounding the growth proposals, including strategic development proposals and documents from local authorities and other agencies,
  • To respond on behalf of the Council to initiatives from other organisations relating to matters under the Working Group’s jurisdiction
  • To report to the Corporate Services Committee on the outcome if its deliberations. 
Terms of Reference
  • The Strategic Development Working Group shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Strategic Development Working Group shall consist of 5 members and where there are political minority groups at least 1 member shall be from those groups. The quorum shall be half of its members (3).

 

 * * * * * 

Events Working Group (reporting to Community Services Committee)

Functions

  • To set an annual programme of events and to request suitable funding from the Community Services Committee no later than October in each financial year
  • To consider all aspects relating to planning and hosting of council events, including health and safety requirements
  • To monitor and review each council event.
  • Delegated authority is given to the Town Clerk, the Deputy Town Clerk and the Communications and Promotions Officer to take decisions on the arrangements for council events.
  • To report to the Community Services Committee on the outcome if its deliberations.
Terms of Reference
  • The Events Working Group shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Events Working Group shall consist of up to seven Councillors. As the Working Group has no delegated authority to take decisions there is no quorum of members required.
  • The Events Working Group is able to invite persons other than members of the Council to participate in meetings.

 

 * * * * * 

Pride of Houghton Working Group (reporting to Community Services Committee)

Functions

  • To consider the nominations put forward from members of the public in relation to the Pride of Houghton Award scheme and determine the award winners.
  • To consider the management of the scheme and to put forward any recommendations to Community Services Committee.
Terms of Reference
  • The Pride of Houghton Working Group shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Pride of Houghton Working Group shall consist of 3 councillors. The quorum shall be half of its members (2). 

 

* * * * * 

Combating Crime Working Group (reporting to Community Services Committee) 

Functions

  • To monitor the Council’s Service Level Agreement with Bedfordshire Police for the provision of additional policing within the parish of Houghton Regis known as Operation Hanna
  • To receive bi-monthly written reports and monthly verbal reports from Bedfordshire Police on the work completed under Operation Hanna
  • To consider the forthcoming months actions by Bedfordshire Police under Operation Hanna
  • To report its decisions to Community Services Committee

Terms of Reference

  • The Combating Crime Working Group shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders
  • The Combating Crime Working Group shall consist of five councillors. The quorum shall be half its members (3).

 

 * * * * * 

Proposed New Cemetery Working Group (reporting to Town Council) 

Functions 

  • To consider and determine matters surrounding the development of a new cemetery for Houghton Regis, including but not restricted to:
  • Environmental matters
  • Policy matters
  • Visual impact matters
  • Design matters
  • Public consultation matters
  • Future operation and management of the cemetery
  • To report to the Town Council on the outcome if its deliberations.
Terms of Reference
  • The Proposed New Cemetery Working Group shall function and operate in accordance with the Council’s approved Standing Orders.
  • The Proposed New Cemetery Working Group shall consist of 5 members. The quorum shall be half of its members (3).

 

 

 

APPENDIX A

 

Houghton Regis Town Partnership Committee

Terms of reference:

1.  Purpose

1.1    To serve as a partnership committee that sets the broad direction for all those involved in initiatives impacting on the town (e.g. the town centre’s customers, employees, residents, visitors, traders, property owners, service providers and developers), and to co-ordinate their activities so as to realise our aspirations for the town and the town centre.

1.2    To inform and advise the relevant committees of the local authorities on all aspects of their responsibilities for the town centre and its environs.

 

2. Objectives

2.1    Work towards improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural vitality of Houghton Regis.

2.2    Encourage appropriate town centre and town development, for approval by the Town Council and Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC).

2.3        Recognise and deliver the context of the Local Development Framework and related planning processes including 

  • informing and advising the relevant committees of the local authorities on all aspects of their responsibilities for the town centre and its environs;
  • consulting, co-ordinating and communicating the infrastructure needs of Houghton Regis to the relevant local authorities; and
  • working in partnership with relevant bodies to achieve the delivery of new infrastructure.

2.4        Co-ordinate the activities of the various town centre service providers and those responsible for meeting the needs of the town centre including:

  • identifying appropriate funding opportunities for the furtherance of town initiatives; and
  • undertaking and co-ordinating marketing and promotional work for the town centre.

2.5        Establish task and finish groups to progress/deliver specific proposals in town development strategies where applicable.

2.6        Encourage the regeneration of deprived areas of Houghton Regis through effective neighbourhood improvement strategies.

 

3. Membership

3.1        The core membership to comprise:

  • 4 Central Bedfordshire Council appointed Councillors; and
  • 4 Houghton Regis Town Council appointed Councillors.

3.2    Representatives of the local community, local interest groups etc will be invited to attend its meetings as non-voting members where applicable.

3.3   CBCCouncillors should be from wards within Houghton Regis.

3.4    All Councillors should have the interests of the town as a priority, not their own wards.

 

4. Chairman

4.1        The Chairman (CBCCouncillor) and Vice-Chairman (HRTC Councillor) shall be elected from and by the partnership committee’s core membership.

4.2        The elected Chairman and Vice-Chairman will hold the post for a period of one year, after which they can stand for re-election

 

5. Secretariat

5.1    Houghton Regis Town Council administers the Partnership committee, which is governed by the Town Council’s Standing Orders. A copy of the Standing Orders can be viewed at Houghton Regis Town Council (HRTC) offices at Council Offices, Peel Street, Houghton Regis, Beds. LU5 5EY Tel: 01582 708540. They are also available online at http://www.houghtonregis.org.uk/infopage.asp?infoid=1182

 

6. Decision-making arrangements

6.1        The partnership committee will make decisions at its meetings.  Decisions will be made by consensus whenever possible.  However, if no consensus can be reached, a majority vote, based on one vote per core member, will carry the decision, with the Chair having the casting vote if the vote is equal.

6.2        The partnership committee will delegate operational decision-making to smaller working groups as necessary and appropriate.

 

7. Frequency of meetings 

7.1    The partnership committee will meet a minimum of four times a year.

 

8. Quorum

8.1    In order for the partnership committee to operate, a quorum of 50% of the membership of the committee must be present.

Last updated about 5 years ago