The policy documents provide guidance and continuity for all decisions made by parish councillors.
There are two categories: Day-to-day running of the business; and managerial policies on specific topics.
The policies used for the immediate running of the business of the Council are up for review every year at the annual meeting when the Chair is elected and so forth. They cannot be altered during the year without being cited in a specific agenda item. This is to ensure that the ‘rules’ are adhered to. These are the Standing Orders of the Council, Risk Assessment and the Code of Conduct for councillors. The latter must be signed by each individual councillor when accepting office.
A third document is included in this category which is not really a policy but nevertheless a document which requires an annual review – the Fixed Assets Schedule. This simply lists the fixed assets belonging to the Council covering everything from land to dog bins that may well fluctuate from year to year. It should be noted that the valuation of these items is merely a guide to their value, usually based on their initial purchase cost, and not a guide as to their current worth at any given time. It is for this reason for example that the Allotment site, which cannot be sold, is listed as a value of £1.
The other policies covering such topics as the Grievance Policy make up the standard ‘managerial approach’ such documents enshrine. They run on a 4-year review cycle mainly because they should not need much alteration. They may be altered at any time within the 4-year cycle providing they are listed as an agenda item. Policies continue to be added if required.