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Working Groups – Terms of Reference

Date adopted 30 November 2022

Harlaxton Parish Council, as the parent body, can form a Working Group to carry out specific detailed tasks on any matter that falls within its powers. Full Council may form or disband a Working Party who will carry out tasks as defined by Full Council.

Specific Terms of Reference, including if necessary delegated powers, will be prepared by the Clerk for ratification at the next Full Council Meeting following the Working Party being established.

1.   Membership

Members of the working party will be appointed by the Parish Council and will consist of a minimum of 3 elected members of the council unless otherwise specified. With the authority of the Full Council the working group can co-opt up members of the public (Lay members) who have specific knowledge / expertise on the subject to assist the Working Group.

The Term of Membership for a working group will be for a period of one year or to the next Annual meeting of the Full Council or time limited for a period of 6 months. The Annual Meeting of the Council can re-confirm the working group’s membership and terms of reference or appoint other elected members to serve for the forthcoming civic year.

2.   Leader

A leader will be appointed for the working party by the Parish Council. The leader will be the main point of contact for the Clerk to Council, Council members and members of the public, and must be an elected member of the Council unless otherwise agreed by the Full Council.

3.   Powers

Working Groups cannot make decisions on behalf of the Parish Council, and any recommendations made by working parties will be subject to approval by the Full Council.

4.   Responsibilities and Areas of Operation

The Full Council will establish the role of the working group and its full terms of reference. This may include:

•   To tackle issues as directed by the Council.
•   To be task specific and time limited.
•   To examine an issue in detail, read reports and related materials, examine options, and obtain advice for the Council.
•   To act as experts and/or liaise with experts.
•   To make recommendations to the Council.
•   To explain the recommendations, reasons, options to Full Council by way of a written report.
•   To answer questions from the Council.
•   No funding or monies to be spent or committed without delegated authority or prior Full Council endorsement
The working group will arrange its own meetings and schedule of work at its inaugural meeting. The leader of the working group, if unable to attend a meeting of the Full Council, will nominate another member of the working party to attend and deliver the progress report.

5.   Meetings of Working Groups

A Working Party does not meet in public, therefore Standing Orders are not applicable, although the Code of Conduct still applies to any councillor who is a member of the working party.

Formal agendas and Minutes are not required.

The Clerk to the Council will be notified of any meeting with at least 3 working days notice. The quorum of the group shall be 2 elected members co-opted members will not count towards the quorum.

The working group shall report formally to each meeting of the Council with informal updates to Council members following each meeting.

The working group will report formally to the Full Council at its Annual Meeting if required. Frequency of Meetings will be as required.

The working group is expected to be time limited.

The continuing need for a working group will be reviewed by the Full Council on a 6 monthly basis unless otherwise specified.