Constitution and Code of Conduct

What type of Council is my Council?

The Ribble Valley Borough Council is a district/Borough Council in a two-tier area. This means that Lancashire County Council, is responsible for certain functions and this Council for others. For more information on which Council (County, Borough, Parish) is responsible for a service, see which council does what.

The Local Government Act 2000 provided that district councils in two-tier areas with a population below 85,000 could draw up proposals for "alternative arrangements" of a type permitted under that the Act. 

When alternative arrangements are in place, the form of governance is broadly as follows:

  • The full council (i.e. a quorum of all the councillors) sets the policy framework and approves the budget etc. for the Council (the proposals for which would generally be presented to the full council by one or more of its committees);
  • No more than five ("policy") committees are permitted under the legislation (i.e. excluding regulatory, area and joint committees).  These have delegated functions from the full council to implement the policy framework and to put proposals to the full council for future policies and budgets;

This Council has therefore adopted arrangements along these lines.  Details on the specific practices and procedures which have been adopted by the Council are set out in its Constitution.

The Council's Constitution

Section 37 of the Local Government Act 2000 provides that every Council must have a constitution and that this must contain certain information about the Council. This Council has therefore adopted a constitution ("the Constitution"). 

The Council's Constitution is a living document. It sets out how the Council operates and describes the roles, functions and responsibilities of the councillors and those of key officers. It contains information on how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that such decisions are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.  

The Council's Constitution has been divided into parts:

Part One contains an introduction and summary. This explains more about the purpose and content of the Constitution;

Part two is divided into 14 Articles which set out the basic rules on how the Council operates.   

Part three deals with delegation by the Council.

Part 3(1)  deals with delegation to committees and the division of responsibilities for functions between the (full) Council and its committees. 

Part 3(2) describes the roles of officers and the arrangements made for them to discharge functions (e.g. the Council's officer delegation scheme);

Part four contains the Council's Standing Orders. These are rules which govern the conduct and proceedings of the Council's meetings and those of its committees and subcommittees.

Part five contains a description of the arrangements the Council has in place for access of the public and members and officers of the Council to Council meetings and to information about its decisions.

Part six contains a description of the rules and procedures for the management of the Council's financial, contractual and legal affairs including its Financial Regulations and its Contract Procedure Rules.

Part seven contains further information about procedures for members and staff including the Code of Conduct for Members, the Code of Conduct for Staff, the Protocol for Member Officer relations and the Scheme of Members' Allowances. It also contains information on the requirement for members to register any disclosable pecuniary interests and the registers of such interests. 

Other important documents

There are numerous other key documents which are accessible from the Council's website. Including: