Guide Have your say at meetings

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3. All other public meetings

The public can speak and attend public meetings. It is helpful to register beforehand to help facilitate an answer being provided to you at the meeting.  Set out below are instructions on how to register to do so.

Speaking at a meeting

There is a period of 15 minutes at the beginning of the meeting to allow the public to speak.

If you wish to ask a question, or make a statement, on an agenda item, please register by emailing or by telephoning 01395 519970, providing the detail set out above, at least 24 hours before the start time of the meeting.

If an agenda item is added to the published agenda less than 24 hours before the start time of the meeting, you can register at least one hour before the start of the meeting to speak on that late item.

Where a question does not relate to an agenda item, and a response is required from a member or an officer, the question must be submitted to Democratic Services two working days before the meeting, to give time for a response to be prepared.  Where such advance notice is given, the questioner may ask a supplementary question at the meeting, if it is relevant to the original question.

In order to register to speak, you will need to provide:

  • your name;
  • contact email (if you have one);
  • contact phone number;
  • what your question or statement is and which agenda item it relates to.

If you do not register, you can still attend a meeting and complete one of our cards for your question; this must relate to an agenda item.

Once successfully registered, you will be contacted by a member of the Democratic Services Team to confirm your registration and how you can access the meeting.

If you find that you are unable to attend after registering, you can ask for your question to be read out at the meeting by a member of staff.

Please remember that

  • The chairman has the right and discretion to control questions to avoid disruption, repetition and to make best use of the meeting time.  The chairman is entitled to interrupt the speaker to ask for their question to be put;
  • All individual contributions will be limited to a maximum period of three minutes.  Where there is an interest group of objectors or supporters, a spokesperson should be appointed to speak on behalf of the group;
  • The meeting is being recorded for subsequent publication on the council's website.