The Parish Council believes in open and transparent government and involving parishioners whenever possible.
To help achieve this the Council has adopted a policy of having periods at its meetings when parishioners and members of the public can speak.
Obviously in order for this to work effectively it is necessary to have a protocol on how these sessions are to be run. This protocol is set down in the Council’s ‘Standing Orders, which you can access through the page, Policies and Procedures.
In summary, the agenda for a meeting will include an item, normally at the beginning of the meeting, called Public Participation Period. This is the time when parishioners and members of the public can make representations on matters on the agenda or general public interest. However, by law, the Council is not allowed to consider any matter which is not on the agenda. If the matter raised is not on that meeting’s agenda, the Council can decide to include it for discussion at a future meeting. If the matter raised is on the agenda, the Public Participation Period is the only time that a parishioner or member of the public, may speak on the topic during the meeting.
The Council will listen to the points made and may ask questions so to understand. The Council will include the points made, if relevant, in its considerations, either later or at a future meeting.
The Public Participation Period is limited to fifteen minutes and the Chair will aim to take as many speakers as he/she can in that time. However, each speaker must be prepared to cover all the points they wish to make in 3 minutes. Therefore, if more than one speaker wishes to speak on a particular matter they may wish to nominate a spokesperson to speak to the Council or make sure points made by previous speakers are not repeated. This will allow as many speakers as possible.
Other items to note:
The Chair is in overall control of the meeting and he/she will decide who may speak and in which order. The speaker will be asked to identify themselves and to address the meeting. All comments must be made through the Chair. The Chair has the right to say that any question or statement is inappropriate and the speaker will be asked to stop.
Whilst members of the Council will endeavour to respond to questions raised it may decide to respond by letter/email once information has been obtained.
If you wish to take part in the Public Participation Period please be aware that you will be speaking in public and that press reporters may be present. Therefore you should not say anything you would not wish to be reported in the local newspapers.
These Periods form part of the Council meeting in law and will be duly minuted.
If you would like any further information, please contact the Clerk.