Council to adopt ‘standing orders’

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The new Antrim and Newtownabbey Council is to adopt the model Standing Orders, bar three points.

Chief Executive Jacqui Dixon advised members at the first meeting of the council that there were concerns over Sections 19.4, 19.6, and 25.1, and advised that council officers were drafting responses as part of the consultation process.

The Department of the Environment will be making Standing Orders Regulations in the autumn, and as such, has issued a consultation document which closes on August 15.

It had been proposed that until the Regulations are made by the Department, the council adopts the model Standing Orders.

Mrs Dixon said the first concern related to requiring members to stand to speak in the chamber.

She added that there were concerns over equality and disability issues.

The second issue relates nominating someone to take a position, with a response required within 15 minutes.

Again, Mrs Dixon asked this to be excluded, with council officers to make representations to the Department.

The final issue relates to the order of business for council meetings, with the agenda to include ‘any other business’.

Mrs Dixon said council officers feel this is at odds because there is a requirement for specific business which is to be transacted at any meeting.

Councillors agreed to adopt the model Standing Orders, save for the three items which had been highlighted for representations to be made to the Department.

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