Request to speak at a committee meeting

To speak at a committee meeting, you need to send us your full name, contact details and the which agenda item you would like to speak on.

The Committee Services Officer will acknowledge receipt of your request and confirm you have been added to the public speaker list.

(You can also request the speak in person before the start of the meeting, however, this is at the discretion of the Chair to take any last minute requests to speak just prior to the commencement of the meeting.)

Members of the public are encouraged to attend public parts of Committee meetings, including Cabinet, Audit and Standards Committee and Overview and Scrutiny Panels.  You are welcome to come along just to observe or you can request to speak to the committee or panel about an item on the agenda.  However, where an item on the agenda contains exempt information, the Chair will move that the press and public leave the room during the consideration of that item.

What happens at the meeting

Arrive early to the meeting and sit on the front row of the public seats at the rear of the room.  

Members of the public will be given three minutes to speak on a particular item and this is strictly timed. The chair will inform all public speakers that: their comments must be limited to addressing issues raised in the agenda item under consideration: and that any departure from the item will not be tolerated.

The chair may interrupt the speaker if they start discussing other matters which are not related to the item, or the speaker uses threatening or inappropriate language towards Councillors or officers and if after a warning issued by the chair, the speaker persists, they will be asked to stop speaking by the chair. The chair will advise the speaker that, having ignored the warning, the speaker’s opportunity to speak to the current or other items on the agenda may not be allowed. In this eventuality, the chair has discretion to exclude the speaker from speaking further on the item under consideration or other items of the agenda.

The Chair of the meeting will give you instructions on the process for public speaking and will invite you to speak at the appropriate time on the agenda.

  • when invited by the Chair, move to the allocated speaker desk or, if you prefer, you can either stand or sit to speak where you are
  • if the timer sounds before you have finished speaking, the Chair has the discretion to let you continue or ask you to finish speaking
  • Members are then given the opportunity to ask you any points of clarification

Public speakers will not be permitted to speak further on the item and cannot participate in the debate on the item.

All Committee meetings are recorded for publication on the Council's YouTube channel.