Speak at a council or committee meeting
Guidance for speaking at a council meeting
Full council meetings
- All 48 councillors are invited to attend the full council meetings.
- Meetings are usually held on a Tuesday evening. See our Calendar of Council Meetings.
- The Mayor chairs the meeting.
A maximum of ten public speakers can be registered to speak or ask a question at any one Council meeting. The registration of public speakers will be on a first come, first served basis.
Asking a question
At ordinary council meetings, you may register to ask one question, which may relate to any item on the public agenda or be relevant to the functions, powers or duties of the Council. The councillor who will respond will depend upon the nature of your question. It is most likely that the Leader of the Council or a lead councillor will respond.
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 from the councillor to whom your question was put, will be set out in full on the Council 'Order Paper' which is circulated to councillors and to members of the public at the meeting and in the minutes of 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 matter relating to any item on the public agenda or be relevant to the functions, powers or duties of the Council.
You must give written notice of your wish to address the meeting (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).
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 or a summary of the subject matter of your statement.
- Whether you consent for your contact phone number or email being shared with other speakers in the event that a greater number of speakers have registered than the rules permit and 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 Mayor's consent, nominate a spokesperson to attend and speak or ask a supplementary question 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 towards the beginning of the agenda. Please ensure that you, or your nominated spokesperson 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.
Once you have made your statement or asked any supplementary question you will not be permitted to address the meeting again.
After you have received a response to your statement, or asked a supplementary question, you need not stay for the remainder of the meeting unless you wish to.