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Public speaking at meetings

Members of the public can apply to speak at an ordinary meeting of the council, the planning committee, the three scrutiny committees or at a meeting of the executive. 
With regard to council and scrutiny committees up to 5 people may speak at any one meeting and for up to 5 minutes. It is slightly different for the planning committee where the time limit is 7 minutes in support and 7 minutes in objection to each application. 


Speaking at a council meeting would provide an opportunity for you to present your views, raise awareness of an organisation/ project or ask a cabinet member a question about any council policy, service or project.

If you wish to speak at a meeting, you will need to submit a request in writing to the head of democratic governance, for consideration. If your request is accepted, you will be given no less than 5 clear working days notice before the meeting and you will be given a verbal response from the leader of the council or a relevant cabinet member, at the meeting. 

Planning committee

You can apply to speak either in support or in objection to a planning application and a request to speak must be made in writing to the head of democratic governance by no later than noon, one working day prior to the meeting. If your request is accepted, you will be invited to speak for no longer than 7 minutes.

Scrutiny committees

You can raise any issues or concerns at either the scrutiny or health committee for them to investigate or seek to resolve. If you wish to speak, requests need to be made in writing to the head of democratic governance no later than 5.00pm on the day prior to the dispatch of the agenda.

In exceptional circumstances, the chairman may allow a speaker to speak on a specific agenda item if the request is submitted by noon, one working day prior to the meeting. You will receive a response from the chairman of the committee.


You can speak on any agenda item for consideration by the executive, but requests must be made in writing to the head of democratic services and received no later than 12 noon, one working day before the meeting.

If you are invited to speak there will be a maximum of 5 minutes for a speaker in favour of the recommendation and 5 minutes for a speaker against the recommendation. If there is more than one speaker wishing to speak for or against the recommendation, the total allocated time of five minutes will be split between the number of speakers (e.g. five speakers speaking in favour of the application will receive one minute each).

A response will be provided at the meeting from the leader of the council or the relevant cabinet member.