Meetings

Throughout the year, there are regular full Council meetings (normally every six to eight weeks) and these are supported by a number of Standing Committees which deal with regular items and make recommendations to the full Council on actions to be taken or decisions to be approved.

When necessary, other Sub-Committees and Working Groups are convened, which report directly back to the main Committees and ultimately to the Council. The Council and its Committees are regulated by Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.

There are a number of decisions which must be taken by the full Council. The Council must approve its financial budget and must set its precept. These decisions cannot be delegated to a Committee.

Meetings of the Council and its Committees are normally held on Monday evenings, usually at 7pm; please check the Agenda for a particular meeting, for the actual start time.

The Schedule of Meetings 2018-19 provides details of all Council and Committee meetings to be held in the current civic year; the Schedule was originally approved at the Annual Council Meeting on 14 May 2018, but will be updated throughout the year as timings change or additional meetings are added. 

How do the Meetings work?

A Chairman will officiate at every Council or Committee meeting, normally assisted by a Vice-Chairman. The Clerk will also assist, to ensure that the Council continues to act legally (i.e. within its powers and duties).

The meeting must have a quorum number of councillors present to allow decisions to be valid. This is a minimum of eight for the full Council and varies for the Committees. Every Council and Standing Committee meeting starts with a public open session when members of the public can speak to the Council. Each person is limited to three minutes and it is recommended that anyone wishing to speak during this session contacts the Clerk in advance where possible, so there is an opportunity to order the agenda to consider that particular area of interest first.

The Council’s Guidance on Public Participation Sessions was last reviewed, approved and adopted on 21 March 2016, together with its Policy on Management of Recordings at Council Meetings and Policy on Use of Mobile Phones in Meetings

Council meetings follow a strict set of ‘Standing Orders’ (agreed rules and procedures for the meetings) and these dictate what councillors can and cannot do, but also help structure discussions. As a result, there is not usually an opportunity for councillors to ask questions to the public or for them to speak again once the main part of the meeting is under way. It is therefore advisable to contact your ward councillor in advance of attending to discuss the matter, so they can welcome you on arrival and any questions can be discussed with you beforehand; they will then be able to provide any clarification required by other councillors during the meeting.

Click on these links for details of the Council’s Standing Orders – approved and adopted 5 June 2017 and Scheme of Delegation – approved and adopted 5 June 2017.

Working and Steering Groups 

Small informal groups are set up as required to consider specific issues in more detail when necessary. Such groups currently consider matters relating to Neighbourhood Planning, Holmfirth Public Toilets and Kirklees Council’s Strategic Asset Review (including the longer term future of Holmfirth Civic Hall).

These meetings have no formal agendas or minutes, but Action Points are normally recorded by the Clerk or a lead member of the group. Meetings are not normally open to the public, although if you have views on a subject area covered by a working/steering group, you are welcome to contact the Clerk to discuss the matter further. Your views can then be passed on to the Chairman of the Group, for consideration at a future meeting.

If appropriate, a working/steering group may be extended, to include representatives of local community groups, businesses and individuals, e.g. the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group now has a wider representative than just Members of the Council, to make valid and sustained contributions to the Neighbourhood Plan process.