Guidance for speaking at general committee meetings

Find out what the rules are about speaking at the following committee meetings: Executive (including the Executive Shareholder and Trustee Committee); Corporate Governance and Standards Committee; Community Executive Advisory Board; Place Making and Innovation Executive Advisory Board; Overview and Scrutiny Committee; and Licensing Committee.

A maximum of six public speakers can be registered to speak on any one agenda item. The registration of public speakers will be on a first come, first served basis. If more than six members of the public wish to speak on any one agenda item, a spokesperson who has registered to speak can be nominated to represent the views of others by an agreement reached between yourselves.

Asking a question

You may register to ask one question, which must relate to any item on the public agenda.

You must give written notice of your wish to ask a question, including the question itself (by letter or email) to Committee Services, by no later than 12 noon on the third working day before the meeting. For example, if the meeting is scheduled for a Tuesday, you must register by 12 noon on the Thursday of the previous week.

Your question, together with a written response, will be set out in full on the committee supplementary information sheet, which is circulated to councillors and to members of the public at the meeting.

When you receive this written answer at the meeting, you may ask one verbal supplementary question arising from the written answer. You will be allocated up to three minutes to do this.

Making a statement

As an alternative to asking a question, you may register to address the meeting for up to three minutes on any item on the public agenda.

After you have spoken, the chairman will nominate the most appropriate councillor or officer present to provide a response.

You must give written notice of your wish to make a statement (by letter or email) to Committee Services, by no later than 12 noon on the working day before the meeting.

Before the meeting

You may register to speak any time after the agenda is published (five clear working days before the meeting).

If asking a question or making a statement, you should provide the following information in writing:

  • Your name

  • A contact email

  • Daytime telephone number

  • The item on which you would like to speak, together with a summary of the subject matter or ask your question (together with the question)

  • Whether you give consent to your contact phone number or email address being shared with other speakers in the event that a spokesperson must be nominated.

If you wish to use visual aids when you address the meeting, please advise Committee Services when you register to speak but you must send a copy of your visual aid electronically by no later than 12 noon on the working day before the meeting.

On the day of the meeting

If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, due to unforeseen circumstances, you may, with the chairman's consent, nominate a spokesperson to attend on your behalf. If this is the case you should advise Committee Services by no later than 5pm on the day of the meeting.

At the meeting

Public speakers normally address the meeting before consideration of the relevant items of business. Please ensure that you, or your nominated representative arrive at least ten minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting so that we may note your attendance and go through the procedures with you.

You will not address the meeting again unless the chairman invites you to do so, or unless there are questions that the councillors in attendance wish to ask you.

After you have received a response to your statement, or asked any supplementary question, you need not stay for the remainder of the meeting unless you wish to.