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Commons Advisory Panel

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Information about Commons Advisory Panel

The Constitution of the City of Lincoln

Commons Advisory Panel


Revised 28th November 2011


1.             Adoption


This Constitution was adopted on 06/03/2012 at a meeting of Full Council.


2.             Name and Definitions


The name of the Panel is the City of Lincoln Commons Advisory Panel afterwards referred to as the “Panel”.  


“City of Lincoln Council” shall be referred to as “the City Council”

“Members of City of Lincoln Council” shall be referred to as “Councillors”

“Council Executive” means the Council’s Executive as defined in the City Councils Constitution.


 “The Commons” (West Common, South Common, and Cow Paddle Common) referred to are those tracts of land defined by the Lincoln City Council Act 1985.

“Members” shall refer to all those given formal membership of the committee without distinction.


“Nominated substitute/representative” shall mean a person who is representing a group, with the express authorisation as a group. The person replacing a representative.(see below)


 “Representative”.  A person who represents a Member Group on the Panel. “The undertaking” is the agreement to meet with specified bodies as described in the document between the City Council and the Open Spaces society et al dated 22nd March 1985


“Standing Orders” shall mean the guidance notes as to the expected conduct of members, and associated sanctions


3.                  Objectives


The Panel's specific objectives are as follows:


a.   To Advise the City Council in the care, maintenance, protection and

      preservation of the Commons.

 b) To represent and protect the interests of all lawful users of the Commons, having in mind the well being of the commons in general.

c) To take due regard to previous undertakings (including the undertaking given to the Open Spaces Society on 22nd March 1985)


4.             Membership

The Panel shall have one membership; Full Members. From here forth the term Members refers to Full Members.


 Members shall be those identified in the Undertaking to the Open Spaces Society in1985, as well as those voted onto The Panel following submission of a request for inclusion from any group pertaining to have an interest in the Commons. Additional requests shall be considered by the full Panel.All Members hold decision-making responsibilities in relation to recommendations for membership.


Each community or user group or other organisation whose members use one or more of The Commons shall be entitled to nominate a representative to serve on The Panel as a Panel Member. The Panel shall not be responsible for notifying groups of this entitlement. All Panel Members shall be entitled to vote. Recommendation of entitlement of a group to representation shall be determined by The Panel by way of vote, the Chair taking advice with regards to eligibility as appropriate and having a vote and additional casting vote if required. Recommendations for membership will only take effect with the final approval of the council Executive. The expectation shall be that all groups represented will have a Constitution and be able to demonstrate good governance.


If a Member’s representative is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Panel, without prior notification to the Secretary, he or she shall be deemed to have resigned. It will be permissible for a substitute to be nominated by a representative Group. Details of the person attending must be provided to the Secretary prior to the commencement of the meeting.


5.      Councillor Members and Chair of the Panel.


The Chair of the Panel and a Vice-Chair shall be appointed by City of Lincoln Council, which will also provide a Secretary. The Council shall have a total of five Council members on the Panel, with each Councillor  being a Member and entitled to a vote.


6.             Voting


Members and Councillors shall be entitled to vote.However many groups a  Member may represent, he or she shall only be entitled to a single vote. The Chair shall have a vote, and also a casting vote in the event of a tie.


Any member of the Panel may request a recorded vote being taken provided that they have the support of one third of the non councillor members in attendance.


7.             Funds

The Panel shall not hold funds. The council shall not reimburse Members' expenses


8.             Committees

Sub committees may be formed with the approval of the chair.  Sub committees shall report to meetings of the Panel.  The membership and terms of reference of such Sub­committees shall be voted upon by the Panel. The Panel shall not have an Executive Committee


9.             Meetings

The Panel shall meet at least four times per year, with an additional ‘tour of inspection’ of The Commons. Meetings shall be open to members of the public,

however they will not be entitled to speak unless with the prior agreement of the

Chair. The Chair may invite Council officials to attend and take part in discussions. Notice of meetings shall be published on the City Council’s website.


Notice of meeting shall be issued by Secretary to Members in a timely manner

together with an invitation to submit agenda items. The Secretary shall send out

an agenda not less than five working days (not including the day of the meeting) prior to the day of the meeting.


Meetings shall be quorate if the Chair (or Vice-Chair) and 75% (or Six whichever is the most) of non-council Members are present.


Meetings shall take the following form:

i. Confirmation of minutes of previous meeting.

ii. Review of matters arising.

iii. Submitted agenda items


Minutes of meetings shall be circulated by the Secretary as soon as practicable after the meeting.


10.             Procedures at meetings


Motions may be proposed by Members or the Chair (or Vice-Chair), they must be seconded. They shall be voted on by those entitled to vote. The conduct at meetings shall be in accordance with the Standing Orders detailed below.


11.             Amendment of the Constitution


Recommendations for amendments to this Constitution can only be by majority vote of the Members of the Panel. Any such recommended amendments can only be put into effect with the agreement of the Chair, and with ratification from the Council's Executive.


12.             Dissolution


The Panel can be dissolved by recommendation of the Executive of the City Council after consultation with the Open Spaces Society having reference to the obligations contained in the Undertaking.


Standing Orders


The meeting should start on time.


It should follow the agenda unless there is a good reason for the chairman to revise it.


Members should follow the chair’s reasonable requests and instructions for the

conduct of the meeting.


The chair should have the power to exclude a member who unreasonably persists in interrupting or disrupting the meeting


If the problem occurs again at the next meeting the member may be asked to stand down from CAP, either permanently or for a fixed period of time at the Chair's discretion.

Any member who is deemed to have breached the rules will have the right to appeal. Appeal will be by letter to the Executive Portfolio Holder, who will respond within one month of receipt. If the member remains unhappy with the outcome from this appeal, they will have the right to have the appeal reviewed by the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive will consider the appeal in consultation with the representatives named in the Undertaking, and respond within one month of receipt.