If you have a problem with a council-related matter, it is suggested that you should first contact your local Councillor(s).

Where is public participation?

You have a right to attend most meetings. Public Participation is held for up to thirty minutes at the start of each meeting of Council, Executive Committee, Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Audit Committee and Standards Committee which enables members of the public to ask questions, make a statement or present a petition.

The Area Planning Committee have a separate Public Speaking Scheme.

What topics can I raise?

In respect of council and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, anything relating to issues that affect the general economic, social or environmental well-being of the community.

In respect of Executive Committee, Standards Committee and Audit Committee, any matter in relation to an item on the agenda (excluding Exempt or confidential items of business).

How long can I speak for?

You can speak for up to five minutes at the Committees listed above, or for up to three minutes on planning applications at Area Planning Committee meetings.

How do I go about speaking?

If you would like to participate please notify the Monitoring Officer no later than 9am on the working day before the meeting. Please state your name, address and the nature of the proposed participation, with an outline of the main points to be made or asked. In exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Chairman, a contribution may be permitted without notice. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

At what point in the meeting?

Following the agenda item relating to: Chairman's Announcements at Council, or Declarations of Interests at Committee meetings.

How do I know when to speak?

The Chairman will commence with those that have given prior notice of their wish to speak. If time remains, the Chairman may ask if any other member of the public present wishes to speak.

If there are several people wishing to speak on the same subject, the Chairman may ask one person to speak on behalf of the others.

You should, if you are able, stand to make the presentation and address the Chairman of the meeting.

At meetings of Full Council only, you will be allowed one supplementary question or statement provided it is directly related to the issue raised in the first question or statement.

What happens next?

When you have completed the statement(s), or at the end of the five minutes permitted, whichever is first, and at the absolute discretion of the Chairman presiding at the meeting:

He/she will respond, or in the case of a meeting of the Council, will invite the Chairman of the appropriate Committee to respond; or

The Chairman may invite the appropriate Head of Service or other Officer to respond

Where the subject raised needs research or verification of facts/detail, the Chairman will advise you of this and give an assurance that a written response dealing with the issue(s) raised will be sent within ten working days of the meeting.

If you would like further details about the procedure, please contact Democratic Services on 01684 862416 or 01684 862273 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you have any special requirements or feel that standing or addressing the meeting may present a difficulty, please let us know beforehand. Arrangements will be made to help you as far as reasonably possible.