Search site

Urgent Committee Business

Dealing with Urgent Business under Standing Order No. 31

Standing Orders allow Clerks to take a decision in the name of the Council or Committee where a decision is urgently required and cannot wait for the next scheduled meeting.

An extract of Standing Order No. 31, which gives the Clerk this authority, is as follows:

  1. The Clerk is authorised to take any necessary action where a matter arises of such urgency that it cannot await the decision of the Council or the Committee or Sub-Committee concerned.
  2. Prior to using this delegated authority, the Clerk shall consult with the Provost, Depute Provost and Leader of the Council, or the Chair of the Committee or Sub-Committee concerned, and shall not proceed until the signatures of the appropriate Members are obtained.
  3. Where any of the members who shall be consulted under this Standing Order are not available, the Clerk shall consult with appropriate Members who are available.
  4. All action taken by the Clerk under this delegated authority shall be reported to the next meeting of the Council, or the Committee or Sub-Committee concerned.

Officers should note that whilst the Chair or another elected member is consulted, it is the Clerk's decision which is reported to the next scheduled meeting.

If you have business that needs to be dealt with urgently, you should, in almost all cases, complete a report using the council's report template to allow the relevant officer and elected member to know what they are being asked to decide under SO31.  The report should be submitted to Committee Services along with a brief statement on why the business cannot wait until the next scheduled meeting council/ committee meeting.

Approval under SO31 is not guaranteed.  The Chair or Clerk may rule that it should not be authorised particularly for major decisions or politically controversial decisions.  It is therefore particularly important that you take no action in relation to your request for SO31 approval until you have received written/verbal confirmation from the Clerk that your report has been approved.

If you have any questions, please contact Committee Services on 01506 281601 or 01506 281609.