Public Participation at Council and Committee Meetings
Which meetings are open to the public?
- Every meeting of the Full Council is open to the press and public.
- Council Committees.
Public Participation at meetings is called “Have your Say” and appears at the beginning of the meeting.
- Prior to the meeting please write to the Town Clerk informing the Council that you wish to speak.
- You will be allowed to speak at the discretion of the Chairman.
- If you do not wish your name to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting, please inform the Chairman before you start.
- More than one question may be asked by an individual questioner subject to the time limit of 3 minutes.
- Where a number of questions or statements are received expressing a similar view on one agenda item it is expected that a representative will be nominated to voice those views to minimise repetition.
What are the Rules for Speaking?
- The Chairman will invite you to stand/sit in location where you can be clearly heard.
- You can speak for a maximum of 3 minutes per meeting.
- Supplementary questions will be allowed for a maximum of 2 minutes.
- The Council may respond to you at the meeting or may write to you.
- You must not interrupt speakers or speak during the member’s debate.
- You must not hold conversations with other members of the public during meetings.
- Members of the public who become disruptive during the meeting will be asked by the Chairman to leave.
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act requires every public authority to have a publication scheme, approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and to publish information covered by the scheme.
The scheme must set out the Council’s commitment to make certain classes of information routinely available, such as policies and procedures, minutes of meetings, annual reports and financial information.
The ICO has developed a model publication scheme.
The information released by the Council in accordance with the publication scheme represents the minimum the Council must disclose.
Compliments and Complaints
We want the services we provide to be the best possible and that’s why your feedback is important to us.
You may feel unhappy with the service you receive or you may want to make a suggestion that helps us improve it.
We also hope that there are times when we do something well.
We recognise that everyone has a right to make a complaint and we can learn valuable lessons from them.
Your complaint may well improve things for everyone.
We would like to know when you have been impressed or pleased with our service.
We can use these examples to share best practice amongst our staff. In addition, compliments can help boost morale.
When to use the complaints procedure?
When you express your concerns or complain to us, we will usually respond in the way we explain below.
We hope that our complaints system will help you to sort out any problems quickly and successfully.