Part 4 - Rules of procedure

Below are the rules of procedure.

12.1       No speeches until a motion is seconded

No other speeches may be made after a Member has moved a motion and explained the purpose of it until the motion has been seconded by another Member. 

12.2       Right to require a motion to be in writing

The Chair may require a motion to be written out before allowing the matter to be discussed. 

12.3       Seconder’s speech

When seconding a motion a Member may reserve their right to speak until later in the debate. 

12.4       Content and length of speeches

Speeches must be directed to the matter under discussion or to a personal explanation or point of order.  No speech may be longer than three minutes without the agreement of the Chair.

Exceptions to this rule are:

12.4.1           A Member who puts forward a motion may speak to it for not more than five minutes and may also speak in reply to it at the end of the debate for not more than three minutes. This Standing Order does not apply to a speech made under Procedural Standing Order 11.2; 

12.4.2           A Member presenting or answering questions on reports of committees or Cabinet may not speak for more than 10 minutes unless otherwise agreed by the Chair.

12.5       Amendments to a motion

A Member may move an amendment to a motion and explain the purpose of it. The amendment must be seconded by another Member. The Chair may require that the amendment be written out before allowing the matter to be discussed. An amendment must be relevant to the motion and shall either be:

12.5.1           To leave out words;

12.5.2           To leave out words and add others; or

12.5.3           To insert or add words.

                     The time spent debating an amendment to a motion shall count within the overall two hours allocation time for motions.

No amendment shall be allowed which is contrary to the motion before the Council or has the effect of introducing a new proposal. 

Only one amendment may be moved and discussed at any one time.  No further amendment may be moved until the amendment under discussion has been dealt with. 

If an amendment is rejected, different amendments may be proposed on the original motion. 

If an amendment is carried, the motion as amended takes the place of the original motion.  This becomes the substantive motion on which any further amendments are moved. 

After an amendment has been carried, the Chair will advise the meeting of the content of the amended motion before accepting any further amendments.

12.6       When a Member may speak again

When a Member has spoken on a motion they may not, without the consent of the Chair, speak again during the debate, except:

12.6.1           To speak once on an amendment moved by another Member;

12.6.2           To move a further amendment if the motion has been amended since they last spoke;

12.6.3           If the first speech was on an amendment moved by another Member, to speak on the main issue, whether or not the amendment was carried;

12.6.4           To exercise the right to reply;

12.6.5           On a point of order;

12.6.6           By way of personal explanation.

12.7       Alteration of motion by the proposer

 A Member may:

12.7.1           Alter a motion of which they have given notice; or

12.7.2           With the consent of the seconder alter a motion that has been moved without notice. 

In either case, the alteration to the motion must be worded as an acceptable amendment in accordance with Procedural Standing Order 12.5.

12.7.3           Advisory note: ‘friendly amendments’: Where the proposer and seconder of the original motion accept proposed changes made by another member, this will be known as a ‘friendly amendment’ and will not require the consent of full Council. It should be noted that any proposed amendments falling within a ‘friendly amendment’ will be subject to procedural order 12.5.

12.8       Withdrawal of motion or amendment

A Member may withdraw a motion or amendment to a motion which they have moved, with the consent of both the full Council and the seconder. The full Council's and seconder’s consent will be given or not given, without discussion. No Member may speak on the motion or amendment to motion after the mover has asked permission to withdraw unless permission to withdraw is refused. 

12.9       Right of reply

The mover of a motion has the right to reply at the end of the debate on the motion, immediately before the motion is put to the vote. 

If an amendment to the motion is moved, the mover of the original motion will also have the right to reply at the end of the debate on the amendment. Otherwise, the mover of the original motion is not allowed to speak in the debate on the amendment. 

The Member who has proposed an amendment shall have a right to reply to the debate on that amendment. The right to reply will take place immediately before the final speech by the mover of the original motion. A Member exercising the right to reply shall not introduce any new issues into the debate. 

After everyone who has the right to speak under this Procedural Standing Order has done so the meeting shall take its decision without further discussion. 

12.10     Closure motions

A Member who has not already spoken on a motion being debated may move, without comment or otherwise speaking to the motion except in accordance with Procedural Standing Order 11.2, the following procedural motions at the end of a speech by another Member:

12.10.1         To proceed to the next business:

If a procedural motion to proceed to the next business is seconded and the Chair thinks the item has been discussed sufficiently, they will give the mover of the original motion and, if an amendment is being discussed, the mover of the amendment, a right of reply and then put the procedural motion to the vote. 

If the Chair thinks the item has not been discussed sufficiently, the procedural motion will not be discussed further and will not be put to the vote.

If the procedural motion to proceed to the next business is carried, no further discussion will take place at that meeting in relation to that business. 

[Note that proceeding to the next business may leave business unresolved]

12.10.2         That the question be put:

If a procedural motion that the question be put is seconded and the Chair thinks the item has been discussed sufficiently, they will put the procedural motion to the vote without further discussion. 

If the Chair thinks the item has not been discussed sufficiently, the procedural motion will not be discussed further and will not be put to the vote.

If the motion that the question be put is passed, the Chair will give the mover of the original motion (but not the mover of any agreed amendment), a right of reply before putting the original motion (or agreed amended motion, if any) to the vote. 

If the motion that the question be put is passed and an amendment to a motion is being discussed, the Chair will give the mover of the amendment, a right to reply before putting the amendment motion to the vote.

[Note that passing a procedural motion that the question be put when an amendment to a motion is under discussion, has the effect of resolving only whether or not the amendment shall be agreed]

12.10.3         To adjourn a debate to a specified date, time and place; or   

12.10.4         To adjourn a meeting to a specified date, time and place.

If a motion to adjourn the debate or to adjourn the meeting is seconded and the Chair thinks the item or business of the meeting has not been discussed sufficiently and cannot reasonably be discussed further on that occasion, they will put the procedural motion to adjourn to the vote without giving the mover of any other motion under discussion, the right of reply. 

If the Chair thinks the item or business of the meeting has been discussed sufficiently, the procedural motion to adjourn will not be discussed further and will not be put to the vote.

12.11     Point of order

A Member may raise a point of order relating to procedural matters at any time. The Chair will hear them immediately. A point of order shall relate only to an alleged breach of these Procedural Standing Orders or the law relating to meetings. The Member must indicate the Procedural Standing Order or point of law and the way in which they consider it has been broken. The ruling of the Chair on the matter will be final. 

12.12     Personal explanation

A Member may make a personal explanation at any time. A personal explanation shall only relate to a material point made in an earlier speech by the Member that may appear to have been misunderstood during the current debate. Before giving the explanation, the Member must first identify that material point and why it appears to have been misunderstood and the Chair shall then decide whether or not the personal explanation can be made to the meeting. If the Chair decides explanation can be given, the Member may then give the explanation.  

12.13     At any time during a debate, with the agreement of the Chair, any Member may request clarification of any matter relating to that debate.

12.14     For the purposes of Procedural Standing Orders:

12.2              Right to require a motion to be in writing;

12.4              Content and length of speeches;

12.5              Amendments to a motion;

12.6              When a Member may speak again;

12.9              Right of reply;

12.10            Closure motions

recommendations to the Council from the Cabinet, the Leader of the Council, a Cabinet Member, a committee or an Officer exercising delegated powers shall be treated as a motion.

Page updated: 02/10/2020 Page updated by: Gloucestershire County Council

Help us improve Gloucestershire County Council

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.