Participating in Council meetings
All Council meetings are open to the public. You may register to speak at a meeting if you live or work in the Borough.
Everyone’s contribution to the decision-making process is welcomed; you are not expected to be a professional speaker to take part.
Speak at a meeting
The procedure to follow varies depending on the committee at which you wish to speak.
Anyone living or working in the Borough may register to speak or submit a written question at a Service Committee.
You must declare any current or prospective financial or personal interest you may have in the subject. Up to 30 minutes will be permitted for public participation at any one Service Committee meeting.
How it works
Speaking at a Service Committee
Up to six speakers are permitted per agenda item (excluding ward concerns, which are dealt with under Council Procedural rule 33.2), with speakers being taken in the order in which they have registered.
The content of your contribution must relate to an agenda item being discussed, and you will be permitted to speak for three minutes. In exceptional circumstances, the Chair has discretion to allow the speaker to go over three minutes to complete their point.
If you would like to register to speak at a Service Committee, please contact Democratic Services by 12 noon on the working day before the Committee, stating which agenda item(s) you wish to speak to.
You can contact Democratic Services at email@example.com or by telephone on 020 8891 7183.
The committee wants to hear from you and does not need to see any supporting papers. To make best use of your time:
- Prepare what you want to say
- Be clear and concise, setting out how your points relate to the report under discussion
- Consider what you want the committee to do
Using presentation materials
If you intend to refer to presentation material in your speech this must be submitted to Democratic Services in advance by 12 noon on the working day before the meeting for the Committee to consider.
Transcripts of your speech will not be accepted, and any materials submitted will not be published in the agenda or with the minutes.
If you attend a Service Committee with any late material, this must be handed to the Democratic Services Officer, who will pass this to the presenting report author to review. Any late material will only be accepted at the discretion of the Chair in exceptional circumstances.
We will not accept electronic presentation materials from public speakers.
Submit a written question to a Service Committee
You are permitted to submit one written question per meeting, up to six written questions will be accepted for the entire meeting, with questions being taken in the order in which they have been received.
About the written questions:
- Questions must relate to an agenda item being considered at the meeting
- Repeat questions will not be accepted within a six month period
- Any question which is deemed to be frivolous, vexatious, defamatory or which relates to a personal circumstance will not be accepted
- Written questions should be no more than 100 words
At the meeting, the Chair will provide a response to written questions. If a question is complex and cannot be answered at the meeting, a written response will be provided to the questioner after the meeting and published in the Committee minutes for that meeting.
To submit a written question, please contact Democratic Services by 12 noon, two working days ahead of the meeting, stating which agenda item your written question relates to. You can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 020 8891 7183.
These public participation arrangements also apply to the Policy and Performance Review Board.
Participate in a Full Council meeting
Anyone living or working in the Borough may ask one question of the Leader or Committee/Sub-Committee Chairs at an ordinary Council meeting attended by all 54 elected Councillors.
Questions will usually be taken on a first come, first served basis. Questioners must declare any current or prospective financial or personal interest they may have in the subject of the question.
Repeat questions will not be accepted within a six month period. Any question which is deemed to be frivolous, vexatious, defamatory or which relates to a personal circumstance will not be accepted.
Questions must either:
- Relate to the general work or procedure of the Council
- Concern some matter in which the Council has powers or duties, or
- Concern a matter which specifically affects the Borough.
To submit a question, please contact Democratic Services by 12 noon on the working day before the day of the Council meeting (usually a Monday). Questions must be no more than 100 words.
Contact Democratic Services at email@example.com or by telephone on 020 8891 7183.
How it works
Public Question time is limited to 30 minutes and if all questions cannot be dealt with within that time, then written replies will be provided for the remainder of the questions.
If clarification of a reply is required, one supplementary question may be put by the original questioner (this must arise directly out of the original question or the reply). A summary record of questions, supplementary questions and answers will be made in the minutes of the meeting.
Submit a petition to Council
Local residents can send the Council a petition on any matter relating to the general work or procedure of the Council.
Petitions can be given to your ward Councillor who will present them at a Council meeting. The Council will request the relevant Cabinet Member to respond to petitions.
Make an enquiry
If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Democratic Services Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0208 891 7183.
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Up to: Have your say
Updated: 27 April 2023