We, the County Council of the County of Sligo, in pursuance of the power vested in us by Paragraph 16 (1)(a) of Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act, 2001, and of every other power hereunto enabling hereby make the undermentioned Standing Orders for the regulation of the Council’s proceedings and business.
In these Orders “Council” means the County Council for the Administrative County of Sligo.
“Councillor” means a person elected or chosen to fill the office of Councillor for the Administrative County of Sligo.
“Cathaoirleach” means a Chairperson who shall be elected and hold office in accordance with Part 5 of the Local Government Act, 2001
“The County Manager” means the County Manager for the Administrative County of Sligo or in his absence such other person as is duly authorised to act for him.
The “Meetings Administrator” means an officer or other such person acting for him/her who has been assigned the duties of meetings administration.
The “Director of Services” means an officer or other such officer acting for him/her with responsibility for a programme or programmes of works.
The word “month” when used in Resolutions, Standing Orders and Regulations of the Council shall be deemed to mean a calendar month.
“A Point of Order” shall be a question dealing only with the conduct of procedure of a debate.
In the computation of a number of clear days, both of the terminal days are to be excluded. In counting clear days where the number of days notice does not exceed seven, Sundays and Christmas day are not to be included in the computation. If the notice exceeds seven days, Sundays and Christmas Day are to reckoned.
Ordinary Meetings of the Council
Unless upon any occasion when it is otherwise fixed by statute or by resolution of the Council, Ordinary Meetings of the Council shall be held on the 1st Monday of each of the months January – December excluding August, except where the 1st Monday is a Bank Holiday where the meeting shall be held on the 2nd Monday.
In every year in which a local election is held the Annual Meeting shall be held on the fourteenth day after the polling day or, where the poll is for any reason countermanded, interrupted or adjourned, after the day on which the poll is completed or the fresh poll is held.
Where the fourteenth day is an excluded day the meeting shall be held on the next following day which is not an excluded day.
In every other year the Annual Meeting shall be on such day within the period 14 days either side of the anniversary of the first Annual Meeting.
Whenever an Annual Meeting is for any reason not held on the appointed day the meetings administrator shall, following consultation with the Cathaoirleach, or if the office of Cathaoirleach is vacant or he / she is unable to act, with the Leas-Cathaoirleach, convene a meeting for a day which the administrator considers to be the earliest convenient date for that purpose.
In an election year the local authority shall publish a notice of its Annual Meeting in at least one newspaper circulating in its administrative area. The notice shall state the date of the Annual Meeting and where appropriate that the first business of the meeting will be the election of the Cathaoirleach, and specify the joint bodies and other bodies to which the local authority is entitled to make appointments at that meeting or subsequently. The notice shall be in a form and published within the period prescribed by regulations.
At an Annual Meeting in an election year the meetings administrator shall read out the names of persons duly elected as members of the local authority. Subject to this the election of a Cathaoirleach is to be the first business of an Annual Meeting and the next business, the election of a Leas-Cathaoirleach.
In the case of the Annual Meeting in an election year the business to be transacted after the election of the Cathaoirleach and the Leas-Cathaoirleach shall include the consideration of the election, appointment or nomination of members of joint bodies or other bodies elected, appointed or nominated by the local authority.
Local Authority Budget Meeting
A Local Authority Budget Meeting shall be held during the period prescribed by regulations for that purpose.
A Special Meeting of the Council may be convened at any time by the Cathaoirleach or if the office of Cathaoirleach is vacant or the Cathaoirleach is unable to act, by the Leas-Cathaoirleach, on foot of a request in writing presented to him or her by any five Councillors.
Where the Cathaoirleach refuses or neglects to act on foot of a request within 7 days of it being presented to him/her, the Councillor making the request may convene a meeting. The provisions of paragraph 6 of schedule 10 of the Local Government Act, 2001 apply in relation to calling of such meeting.
Hour of Meeting
The hour of meeting of the Council shall be 11am or 2pm, on alternate months, or at such other hour as may from time to time be fixed by resolution of the Council.
Place of Meeting and Address of Principal Offices
In so far as practicable the place for holding meetings of the Council shall be the principal offices of the local authority and meetings shall normally be held there, provided that the Council may from time to time by resolution appoint an alternative location for a particular meeting.
The address of the principal offices for the purposes of these Standing Orders is County Hall, Riverside, Sligo.
Summoning of Meeting
A notification to attend a meeting, other than a local authority budget meeting shall (a) be sent or delivered or transmitted by electronic mail to each Councillor, (b) specify the place, date and time of the meeting, and (c) give not less than 3 clear days notice. The 3 clear days shall only exclude (i) normal day for receipt of the notice, and (ii) the day of the meeting.
A notification shall include or be accompanied by an Agenda listing the business to be transacted at the meeting . Subject to Standing Order 20 no business shall be transacted at a meeting other than that specified in the Agenda which relates to the meeting or business required by the Act, or otherwise by law to be transacted at the meeting.
An Agenda which has been sent or delivered for this purpose may be altered (whether by way of addition, deletion or otherwise) if an Agenda specifying the alteration is delivered or sent to each Councillor not less than 3 clear days before the day on which the meeting is to be held.
In the case of a Special Meeting convened by requisition under Standing Order 4, a copy of the requisition shall be sent with the notification.
A notification shall have the signature of the meetings administrator and any document claiming to have that signature shall be deemed, until the contrary is proved to have been duly issued or given with the authority of the local authority.
Want of service or non-receipt of a notification by any Councillor or lack of a signature or any other defect in the notification does not affect the validity of a meeting or of any act or thing done at the meeting.
For the purposes of this Standing Order “signature” includes a facsimile of a signature by whatever process reproduced or a printed version of the name of the meetings administrator.
Public Notice of Meeting
Public notice of the place, date and time of a meeting other than a local authority budget meeting shall be displayed not less than three clear days before the day of the meeting in or at the principal offices of the local authority in a position convenient for public inspection during normal office hours.
The Notice shall include the Agenda for the meeting or specify a place where the Agenda can be inspected and in the case of a meeting requisitioned under Standing Order no. 4 the Agenda shall include or be accompanied by a copy of the requisition.
Subject to any arrangements as it may make the local authority shall supply a copy of a public notice and agenda to the media.
Constitution of Meetings
The Chair shall be taken by the Cathaoirleach at a meeting of the Council within 30 minutes after the time appointed for such meeting or in his / her absence by the Leas-Cathaoirleach or otherwise by a Councillor called thereto by general agreement or chosen by vote of the Councillors present to chair the meeting and such Councillor shall leave the chair on the arrival at the meeting of the Cathaoirleach or Leas-Cathaoirleach.
The names of the Councillors attending shall be recorded in a register held for that purpose.
The quorum for a meeting of a local authority is one-fourth of the total number of Councillors of the local authority plus one or, where one-fourth of such total number is not a whole number, the quorum is the next highest whole number plus one. In the case of this Council the quorum is eight.
Whenever a meeting of the local authority is abandoned owing to failure to obtain a quorum the names of those present at the time and place appointed for such meeting shall be recorded by the meetings administrator and they shall for all purposes be deemed to have attended a duly constituted meeting.
If a quorum is not present within thirty minutes after the time fixed for the meeting [or at any time during the meeting,] the meeting shall stand adjourned to a day to be named by the Cathaoirleach.
Order of Business
The Order of Business at all meetings other than Annual Meetings, Local Authority Budget Meetings and Special Meetings shall, subject to the provisions of any enactments, be as follows:
Confirmation of Minutes.
Business prescribed by Statute, Standing Orders or Resolutions of the Council for transaction at such meeting.
Other business set forth in the Notice convening the meeting including business submitted by the County Manager.
Notices of Motion in the order in which they have been received.
Matters arising (an item can be raised under this heading only by the Councillor who proposed the resolution in relation to it at the original meeting).
Any other business.
In the case of a meeting convened for a special purpose the business specified in the Notification for such meeting shall be transacted and no other business.
At any ordinary meeting of the Council it shall be proper, if a majority of the Councillors present and voting so decide, to take an item for consideration out of the sequence of listing on the Agenda, provided always that such decision shall not affect any business required by Statute to be done before any other business at the meeting.
Presentations by outside agencies or individuals shall be confined to one presentation per meeting, the position of said presentation on the agenda to be decided by prior consultation with the Cathaoirleach. The presentation shall not exceed ten minutes in duration except in exceptional circumstances with the permission of the Cathaoirleach.
Minutes of the proceedings of a meeting of the local authority shall be drawn up by the meetings administrator.
The Minutes shall include -
the date, place and time of the meeting,
the names of the Councillors present at the meeting,
the names of the senior employees of the local authority present at the meeting,
reference to any report submitted to the Councillors at the meeting, decisions of the Council in relation to all motions, reports and recommendations submitted,
where there is a roll call vote, the number and names of Councillors voting for and against the motion and of those abstaining,
particulars of all resolutions passed at the meeting,
such other matters considered appropriate.
A copy of the minutes of a meeting shall be sent or given or transmitted by e-mail by the meetings administrator to each Councillor.
Minutes of a meeting shall be submitted for confirmation as an accurate record at the next following ordinary meeting, where practicable, or where not, at the next following meeting and recorded in the minutes of that meeting.
When confirmed with or without amendment, the minutes of a meeting shall be signed by the person chairing the meeting they were submitted to for confirmation and any minutes claiming to be so signed shall be received in evidence without proof.
When the question that they be confirmed is put from the Cathaoirleach, a Councillor may object to any part thereof as not being an accurate record and upon a motion any question of altering the record shall be determined by the Council by majority vote of those Councillors who were present at the appropriate meeting; provided that no entry shall be made in the Minutes of any protest other than a record of dissent, save in the form of a motion or an amendment.
A copy of the minutes when confirmed in accordance with this Standing Order shall be open to inspection at the principal offices of the local authority and any person may inspect and make a copy of, or abstract from, the minutes during the usual office hours of the authority.
A copy of the minutes shall be provided to any person applying for them on payment of such reasonable sum, being a sum not exceeding the reasonable cost of supplying the copy, as may be fixed by the authority.
Notice of Motions
Every Notice of Motion dated and signed by the Councillor(s) giving it shall be delivered to the meetings administrator or transmitted by electronic mail and shall be recorded in the order of their receipt.
Only those Notice of Motions which have been received not later than 5.00 p.m.
on the seventh day before the relevant meeting of the Council shall appear on the Agenda for that meeting. Where the 7th day before the relevant meeting is a Bank Holiday, 5.00 p.m. on the previous working day shall apply.
Notice of Motions shall appear on the Agenda paper in the order in which they are received by the Meetings Administrator provided always that all motions relating to the statutory functions of the Council shall appear on the Agenda paper before motions dealing with matters which do not relate to statutory functions of the Council.
The Agenda shall not contain any motion which has been considered within the previous six months or any motion substantially similar to any motion considered within the previous six months. Any decision on what constitutes a substantially similar motion shall be decided upon by the Cathaoirleach.
A motion listed for consideration (or an amendment) before being considered by the Council shall be committed to in writing, signed by the Councillor proposing it and by the Councillor seconding it and handed to the Cathaoirleach.
Where any Notice of Motion is obviously out of order, illegal or contains unbecoming expressions, such a Notice of Motion shall be referred by the Meetings Administrator to the Cathaoirleach or Leas-Cathaoirleach.
Multiple Notice of Motions i.e. Motions which relate to more than one topic are prohibited. The decision of the Cathaoirleach or Leas-Cathaoirleach in such instances shall be final and binding.
No Councillor shall be permitted to have more than three motions on the Agenda for any one meeting with the exception of motions adjourned or deferred from a previous meeting. The maximum number of deferred motions per member shall be three.
Motions to Amend or Revoke Resolutions
A motion to revoke or amend a resolution of the Council can only be made on notice inserted in the Agenda, and such notice shall specify the resolution to be revoked or amended and furnish the terms of the motion to be made; but no such motion shall be allowed to appear on the Agenda to revoke or amend any resolution or substantially similar resolution of Council within six months of the date of the adoption of such resolution except with the written assent of not less than six Councillors. A resolution may not be revoked at the meeting at which it has been adopted.
It shall be necessary for adoption of a motion to revoke or amend a resolution of the Council that not less than one-half of the total number of Councillors vote in favour and subject to such other requirements as may be specified in Standing Orders and to any statutory requirements. This Standing Order dealing with revocation of resolutions cannot be suspended.
A resolution shall not be revoked where the original resolution was for the purpose of carrying out a statutory obligation or where the original resolution has been acted upon so as to involve the Council in a legal obligation or commitment.
Subject to Standing Order 18 any matter decided by the local authority by motion on notice or on the report of a committee shall not be re-opened within 6 months of the date of such decision.
Motion for Purpose of Dealing with Urgent Business
Notwithstanding any other provisions of these Standing Orders a motion may be proposed without notice for the purpose of discussing urgent business related to a function of the local authority, subject to the requirement that not less than one-half of the total number of Councillors vote in favour. The making of a statutory decision will require Notice to be given in accordance with Standing Orders. This Standing Order, dealing with urgent business, cannot be suspended.
Adjournment of Council
A motion for adjournment of the Council may be made at any time and shall be determined without amendment and without debate, except that the mover of the Motion of adjournment and the mover of the Motion immediately affected by it, may each address the Council for not more than five minutes on the question of the adjournment; and when the Motion for adjournment is adopted,
the meeting will stand adjourned to a day then named or in the event of no such date being named, to the next occurring ordinary meeting.
A Special Meeting may be adjourned from time to time until its business is concluded.
Motions and Amendments
A motion, notice of which stands in the Agenda and which has been proposed and seconded, may be withdrawn only on leave obtained from a majority of the Council present at the meeting at the request of the Councillor concerned.
A motion may either be proposed by the Councillor in whose name it stands or if he or she be absent, by any Councillor authorised by him or her to propose it on his or her behalf, but unless so proposed, and in the absence of a request from the Councillor in whose name it stands to defer it, the motion shall be dropped and shall not again be set down in the Notice Paper except on fresh notice. A motion or an amendment when not seconded is dropped.
An amendment which has been proposed and seconded may be withdrawn only on leave obtained from a majority of the Councillors present at the meeting at the request of the Councillor concerned.
Every amendment shall be relevant to the motion on which it is moved and shall be either (a) to leave out words, (b) to leave out words and insert or add others, (c) to insert or add words. An amendment shall not be in order if it is equivalent to a direct negative or if it is not in fact an amendment of the motion it purports to amend.
When an amendment is moved to an original motion it shall be discussed and decided upon before any further discussion takes place on the original motion to which the amendment relates.
Whenever an amendment on an original motion has been moved and seconded, no second or subsequent amendment shall be moved until the first amendment shall have been disposed of, but notice of any second or subsequent amendment shall first have been given.
When an amendment is affirmed the original motion as amended becomes the substantive motion upon which any further amendment, of which notice has been given, may be moved.
When an amendment is lost any further amendment, of which notice has been given, may be proposed, but only one amendment shall be at any time before the meeting and an amendment shall not be in order if the Cathaoirleach rules it to be substantially the same as an amendment already lost.
Rules of Debate
Except with the permission of the Cathaoirleach no Councillor shall address the Council for more than five minutes. A Councillor may speak once upon any item on the Agenda or on any motion except a motion which is to be put without debate.
The proposer of a motion has the right to reply whilst the motion remains before the Cathaoirleach and when the proposer replies the debate on the motion is closed.
A Councillor may speak more than once on the same motion or amendment for the purpose only of submitting a point of order or making a personal explanation. The Cathaoirleach’s decision in determining a point of order or personal explanation shall be final.
The Cathaoirleach shall ascertain that a motion is seconded before the proposer is permitted to speak to it.
A motion “that the Council proceed to the next business” may be made after any motion has been proposed and seconded. When made it shall be determined without amendment or debate and if it be affirmed the business interrupted by such motion shall not be proceeded with further at that meeting and, unless the Council otherwise determine, shall be adjourned to the next ordinary meeting. The motion to proceed to next business shall not be made more than once during the debate on any question.
At any time during a discussion on a motion a Councillor may move “that the question be now put” and if such leave be given by the assent of the majority of those present and voting, the motion shall be put, subject to the right of reply by the proposer of the original or substantive motion.
When two or more Councillors at the same time offer to speak, the Councillor called upon by the Cathaoirleach shall have precedence.
A Councillor while speaking shall address only the Cathaoirleach.
A Councillor speaking shall not be interrupted except upon a question of order, but may give way to a Councillor desiring to make a personal explanation.
When a Councillor seeks to make a point of order, the Councillor then addressing the Cathaoirleach shall give way until the question of order has been determined by the Cathaoirleach, unless the former seeks to address the Cathaoirleach upon the question of order.
Conduct at Meetings
The Cathaoirleach is the sole judge of order in the Council and has authority to maintain order and enforce prompt obedience to his / her ruling. Council meetings shall be carried out in a dignified manner and in an atmosphere of respect for all concerned.
When, during a debate, the Cathaoirleach rises, any Councillor then speaking shall give way to the Cathaoirleach.
If, in the opinion of the Cathaoirleach, any Councillor has been or is disorderly by persistently disregarding the ruling of the Cathaoirleach, or by behaving irregularly, improperly or offensively or by otherwise obstructing the business of the meeting, and the Cathaoirleach has conveyed his or her opinion to the Councillors present by naming the Councillor concerned, then the Cathaoirleach or any Councillor may move “that the Councillor named leave the meeting” and the motion, if seconded, shall be put and determined without discussion.
Where the Council decides that a Councillor leave a meeting, that Councillor shall immediately leave the meeting and shall not be entitled to speak or to take any further part in that meeting on that day.
Where in the opinion of the Cathaoirleach there is general disorder which impedes the orderly transaction of business or where a Councillor against whom it was resolved that he or she leave the meeting refuses to do so, the Cathaoirleach may adjourn the meeting for such period as he or she considers necessary in the interests of order.
No Councillor shall address the Cathaoirleach, unless from one of the seats reserved to the use of Councillors.
The Council may by resolution decide to receive a deputation. Subject to the direction of the Cathaoirleach two persons may speak on behalf of the deputation for not more than ten minutes in all.
A request for a deputation to be heard by the Council shall not be considered unless the subject matter to be raised be notified in writing on the motion of a member of the Council, or direct application by the body concerned, sent to the meetings administrator at least seven clear days before the date of the meeting.
The Council may, by resolution, decide to receive a deputation without notice, provided at least one-half of the Councillors present vote for the resolution.
The deputation may submit questions and be questioned by Councillors but shall not be entitled to ask questions or take part in any debate.
When the members of a deputation have addressed the meeting, they shall withdraw from the meeting, without prejudice to the general right of public attendance.
No discussion of the matter which is raised by the deputation shall take place until after the deputation has withdrawn from the meeting.
Requests for deputations which have local implications and which are more appropriately dealt with at local level shall following consultation with the Cathaoirleach be placed on the Agenda of the next Area Committee Meeting applying.
Any persons mis-conducting themselves or interrupting the proceedings may be removed on the direction of the Cathaoirleach.
Members of the public shall be required to remain silent and observe any direction given by the Cathaoirleach.
Questions, Votes and Divisions
Voting may be:-
By voice where it is obvious that the meeting is unanimous with no Councillor dissenting.
By a division, i.e. a regular count of the Councillors for or against the motion (or amendment)
By a division by electronic means.
When a roll-call is being taken Councillors shall vote in alphabetical order of their surnames. Where surnames are identical regard shall be had to alphabetical order of christian names.
Where the Cathaoirleach has not formally declared the result of a vote, or is in doubt as to whether his / her declaration is right or wrong, s/he is entitled if s/he thinks fit to take a second vote on the matter, especially if s/he considers that through some misunderstanding the first vote did not properly represent the sense of the meeting at that time.
Each Councillor present at a meeting of the Council shall have a vote unless prohibited by any enactment.
Where there is an equality of votes, the Cathaoirleach, except where otherwise provided by law shall have a second or casting vote.
Without prejudice to any enactment or other provisions of these Standing Orders requiring either the presence of a specified number or proportion of the Councillors or that a specified number or proportion should vote in favour for the doing of any particular act, all acts of the Council which are reserved functions or questions duly coming or arising before a meeting of the Council shall be determined - (a) by a majority of the Councillors present and voting or where there is an equality of votes, by a second or casting vote of the Cathaoirleach (which person shall have and may choose to exercise such a vote).
Standing Orders 46 - 49 cannot be suspended.
Attendance of Public and Media
Members of the public and representatives of the media are entitled to attend Council meetings.
Where the Council is of opinion that the absence of members of the public and representatives of the media from the whole or part of a particular meeting is desirable because of the special nature of the meeting or of an item of business to be or about to be considered at the meeting or for other special reasons, the Council may, by resolution, in respect of which at least one-half of the total number of Councillors vote in favour, decide to meet in committee for the whole or part of the meeting concerned.
The resolution in this instance shall indicate in a general way the reasons for the resolution and those reasons shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
Members of the public and representatives of the media will occupy the parts of the Meeting Room allotted to their use.
The right of the public and the media to attend Council meetings shall be regulated taking into consideration available space and observance of rules governing conduct.
Members of the public shall be seated and maintain silence and observe any directions given by the Cathaoirleach or by any employee in attendance upon the Council. Such employees are responsible for the execution of all measures necessary for the maintenance of order and decorum in and about the Chamber.
If a member of the public interrupts a meeting at any time or endeavours, without the permission of the Council to address a Meeting, the Cathaoirleach shall warn him or her and if the interruption continues shall order that person’s removal.
In the case of a general disturbance in any part of the Meeting Room open to the public, the Cathaoirleach shall order that part to be cleared.
No cameras of any kind or sound recording or communication equipment may be used at meetings of the Council without the prior approval of the Council.
The use of mobile phones shall not be permitted at meetings of the Council.
Strategic Policy Committees
The Strategic Policy Committees of the Council shall be :
Strategic Policy Committee No. 1 – Economic Development and Planning Policy
Strategic Policy Committee No. 2 – Environmental Policy.
Strategic Policy Committee No. 3 – Transportation and Infrastructural Policy.
Strategic Policy Committee No. 4 – Housing Policy/Social and Cultural Development.
The Economic Development and Planning Strategic Policy Committee (SPC1) shall consist of twelve members; seven of whom shall be members of the Council, one shall be a member of Sligo Borough Council and four to be nominated by sectoral, community and other interest groups throughout the County of Sligo, such sectoral, community and other interest groups having first been selected by the Council in accordance with the relevant guidelines.
The Environmental Strategic Policy Committee (SPC 2) shall consist of nine members; six of whom shall be members of the Council and three to be nominated by sectoral, community and other interest groups throughout the County of Sligo; such sectoral, community and other interest groups having first been selected by the Council in accordance with the relevant guidelines.
The Transportation and Infrastructural Strategic Policy Committee (SPC 3) shall consist of nine members; six of whom shall be members of the Council and three to be nominated by sectoral, community and other interest groups throughout the County of Sligo; such sectoral, community and other interest groups having first been selected by the Council in accordance with the relevant guidelines.
The Housing/Policy, Social and Cultural Strategic Policy Committee (SPC 4) shall consist of nine members; six of whom shall be members of the Council and three to be nominated by sectoral, community and other interest groups throughout the County of Sligo; such sectoral, community and other interest groups having first been selected by the Council in accordance with the relevant guidelines.
The Strategic Policy Committees shall be appointed as soon as possible after a local election and the members shall hold office for the period of the life of the Council appointing them.
4 members shall constitute a quorum, 2 of whom shall be members of the Council.
The Council shall appoint a Chairperson to each of the Strategic Policy Committees from among the members of the Council, to hold office for a minimum period of two years which may be renewed by the Council, and subsequent Chairpersons shall be appointed by the Council from among the existing Council members of the Strategic Policy Committee.
The Chairpersons and Council members of the Strategic Policy Committees shall reflect the proportionality and the distribution of elected representation on the Council; in default of agreement, the Chairpersons and Council members of the Strategic Policy Committees shall be appointed by the formation of groups pursuant to Paragraph 18 of Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act, 2001 and any relevant guidelines.
Every member of the Council shall be a member of one of the Strategic Policy Committees, but shall not be a member of more than two.
It shall be the function of a Strategic Policy Committee to consider matters connected with the formulation, development, monitoring and review of policy which relate to the functions of the Strategic Policy Committee and the Local Authority and to advise the Authority on those matters.
Each Strategic Policy Committee shall meet as often as required, and at least four times a year, to deal with the business assigned to it. A special meeting of the committee can be called by the Chairperson or by at least five members of the committee.
Corporate Policy Group
The Cathaoirleach of the Council and the Chairpersons of the Strategic Policy Committees shall form the Corporate Policy Group, which shall meet as often as required under the chairmanship of the Cathaoirleach and shall provide a forum for discussion of policy affecting the whole Council.
Sligo County Council may establish by resolution committees in respect of local electoral areas, to be known as Area Committees. The Area Committees for Sligo County Council are as follows:
Sligo/Strandhill Area Committee.
Sligo/Drumcliffe Area Committee.
Ballymote Area Committee.
Tubbercurry Area Committee.
Dromore West Area Committee.
The members of the Council for each of the local electoral areas shall be the members of the Area Committee for that area. A Councillor from another local electoral area may attend if he/she so wishes.
Where a Cathaoirleach of a Town Council is not otherwise a member of an Area Committee within whose area such town is situated s/he shall, by virtue of his/her office, be a member of such Area Committee.
A Committee shall not have less than 3 members.
Each Area Committee may at the first meeting held after the 1st day of July in each year appoint a Chairperson to hold office until the first meeting held after the 1st day of July in the following year.
The quorum for an Area Committee Meeting shall be three.
Each Area Committee may set up sub-committees as required to deal with such matters as may be assigned from time to time and shall cease to exist upon completion of its report to the Area Committee.
Matters specific to a local electoral area shall in the first instance be brought to the attention of the appropriate Area Committee for consideration. Notices of motion which have local implications shall be listed for consideration on the agenda of the Area Committee Meeting applying. In the event of a dispute in this matter, the Cathaoirleach or Leas-Cathaoirleach shall determine.
The minutes of the Area Committee meetings shall be put to the next Area Committee Meeting for approval. Such minutes shall then be placed on the Agenda of the subsequent Ordinary Meeting of the Council for confirmation.
Committees – General
The Council may appoint a Special Committee for a specific purpose.
When appointing such a Committee it shall at the same time determine the number and names of members to constitute such Committee and shall also fix the quorum which shall not be less than three. The term of office of a Special Committee shall be for such period as the Council may determine when appointing the Committee.
Every Special Committee at its first meeting shall appoint a Chairperson from its members and, where practical, fix the day and the hour of future meetings.
In the election of Committees, candidates shall be proposed and seconded and if the number so proposed and seconded does not exceed the number of vacancies, those proposed and seconded shall be declared elected. Should the number of those proposed and seconded exceed the number of vacancies, a vote shall be taken, and the procedures shall be as follows:
Where the number of candidates nominated exceeds by one the number of vacancies to be filled, the candidate who has received the lowest number of votes shall be eliminated and the remaining candidates shall be declared elected.
Where the number of candidates or continuing candidates exceeds by two or more the number of vacancies to be filled, the candidate who has received the lowest number of votes shall be eliminated and a vote shall be taken as between the continuing candidates. Every candidate shall be entitled to vote for a number of candidates not exceeding the number of vacancies. This procedure shall be repeated as often as is necessary.
Notwithstanding anything contained above, the provisions of paragraph 18 of schedule 10 of the Local Government Act, 2001, and the requirements of any other enactment will apply to appointments to committees.
Whenever a vacancy occurs in the membership of any Committee of the Council, by reason of the death, resignation or disqualification of a member, such vacancy shall be filled as soon as circumstances permit, by the Council after due notice.
In a Committee, a motion or amendment may be proposed without a seconder, and a member may speak more than once to any question, but otherwise the Rules of Order of the Council, so far as they are conveniently applicable, shall govern all proceedings of Committees, and the Councillor in the Chair at any meeting of a Committee shall determine questions of order.
Every Committee in the whole of its proceedings shall unless otherwise provided for be governed by the Standing Orders or Resolutions of the Council affecting such Committee.
A copy of every Report of a Committee to be submitted to the Council shall, before the submission thereof, be transmitted to every member of the Council at least three days before Council Meetings, save in cases of urgency when reading of the Report to Council shall suffice.
Save for meetings of the Corporate Policy Group and such other Committees as the local authority may specify from time to time, representatives of the media and the public may be present at meetings of Committees of the Council.
When confidential matters are under discussion, Committees may decide to exclude such representatives from the meeting or the relevant portion of the meeting.
The meetings administrator shall summon a meeting of any Committee at the request of the Cathaoirleach of the Committee, or any three of its members, or whenever the meetings administrator deems it necessary in special circumstances that such Committee shall meet.
The Cathaoirleach of the Council shall be ex-officio a member of every Committee and every Sub-Committee except those where membership is fixed by Statute.
In the absence of the Cathaoirleach, the Chair shall be taken by any Council member of the Committee agreed at the meeting.
The Chair of each Committee shall be responsible to the Council for the general management of the business entrusted to such Committee.
Committees may appoint Sub-Committees from their number to facilitate the transaction of business, who shall report to the Committee, but such Sub-Committee shall not have the power to transact any business without express authority from the Committee.
The Council may resolve itself into a Committee of the whole Council for the transaction of business to be specified in the Resolution.
The decisions of the Committees of the Council shall not become binding, except where otherwise provided in the Standing Orders, until approved by the Council, unless the Council specifically empowers these Committees to deal (without further reference to it) with certain matters, subject to the appropriate legal provisions.
A Committee may by majority decision decide that an item be put forward for consideration of the Council at the next Ordinary Meeting applying.
Suspension of Standing Orders
Subject to the provisions and requirements of the Act, or of any other enactment, any Standing Order, except Nos. 18, 20, 46 to 49 may at any time be suspended on a motion proposed without notice for the purpose of enabling any specific business defined in the suspensory motion to be considered and dealt with by the Council, subject to the requirement that at least two-thirds of the members present vote in favour.
A casual vacancy shall be filled in accordance with Section 19 of the Local Government Act, 2001.
Where the person causing the casual vacancy was a member of Registered Political Party at the time of his or her election or co-option the casual vacancy shall be filled by the co-option by the local Authority of a person to fill the vacancy subject to such person being nominated by the same Registered Political Party as the councillor who caused the casual vacancy.
Where the person causing the casual vacancy was a non-party candidate at his or her election or co-option to the local authority the vacancy shall be filled by the co-option by the local authority of a person to fill the vacancy. The person proposed for co-option shall be selected in the following manner:-
A non-party councillor may furnish the Meetings Administrator with a sealed envelope containing a list of nominee(s) in order of preference who are available and willing to fill any casual vacancy caused by him or her. The envelope shall be maintained in the custody of the Meetings Administrator and may from time to time be updated by the furnishing of a replacement envelope to the Meetings Administrator containing a revised list. The nomination(s) shall have effect from the date of receipt of the envelope by the Meetings Administrator and the envelope last received prior to the occurance of the casual vacancy shall be applicable. The person proposed for co-option to fill the casual vacancy shall be the first available person so nominated in the order of preference appearing on the list of nominee(s) contained in the said envelope.
In the event of the non-party Councillor failing to submit such nomination(s) or any of the nominee(s) refusing to accept such nomination(s) or being otherwise unavailable, the vacancy shall be filled by resolution of the Council from amongst the candidates proposed and seconded by the councillors at their discretion.
A Councillor or Councillors appointed to outside bodies and boards may from time to time submit reports to the Council on matters arising in such bodies or boards which have relevance to the Council and shall in any event do so in accordance with the requirements of Section 141, Local Government Act, 2001.
The Local Authority may, by resolution, for which at least one half of the total number of members of the Authority vote in favour, amend or revoke Standing Orders and make new Standing Orders.
Seal of the Council
The Common Seal of the Council shall be in the custody of the Meetings
Administrator and secured by lock, the key of which shall also be in the custody of the Meetings Administrator.
The Official Seal of the Council shall be affixed by the County Manager or his/her delegated employee to deeds and documents requiring to be sealed in the presence of the Cathaoirleach or any nominated employee for that purpose by the Council.
Revocation and Commencement
These Standing Orders shall come into operation on the 3rd day of February, 2003 and all Standing Orders previously made by the Council in respect of Council meetings and not already revoked shall be revoked with effect from that date.