The town council has a set of rules called standing orders. These determine how the council will conduct itself. Some of the items in standing order reflect national law, but most are just our own rules for procedure and debate designed to keep things fair and ordered. From time to time, the council will vote to “suspend standing orders”; technically they can only suspend those parts which are not law so sometimes the council will simply suspend a particular order. The most common reason for this to be done is to allow a member of the public to speak during a meeting – technically only members may speak so the committee can suspend its orders, let the person speak and then re-invoke standing orders to return to full council.