Public Participation at Meetings

Extract from “STANDING ORDERS” 



Meetings shall be open to the public unless their presence is prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted or for other special reasons. The public’s exclusion from part or all of a meeting shall be by a resolution which shall give reasons for the public’s exclusion.

If a person’s advice or assistance is needed they may be invited (by name) to remain after the exclusion Resolution has been passed.


Subject to standing order 1(c) above, members of the public are permitted to make representations, answer questions and give evidence in respect of any item of business included in the agenda.


The Chairman of the Council or Committee may permit any members of the public present to address – before the start of the Meeting. Speaking times of 5 minutes per person/10 minutes per group will be permitted. No extension of time nor further address on the same issue may be allowed to any person or spokesperson except by permission of the Chairman, save in giving specific answers to questions put to them by a member during discussion.

Speaking by members of the public at any other time will be allowed, under the above conditions, providing formal notice has been given to the Clerk.


A record of a public participation session at a meeting shall be included in the minutes of that meeting.


A person shall raise his hand when requesting to speak and a member of the public stand when speaking (except when a person has a disability or is likely to suffer discomfort). The Chairman may at any time permit an individual to be seated when speaking.


Any person speaking at a meeting shall address his comments to the Chairman.


Only one person is permitted to speak at a time. If more than one person wishes to speak, the Chairman shall direct the order of speaking.