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.