Speaking at committee meetings (deputations)

Members of the public are able to watch meetings of the Council, the Executive, committees and some sub-committees, but may not take part unless special arrangements are made in advance.

Citizens or other interested bodies have the right to request the Council’s committees and sub-committees receive deputations from persons wishing to address councillors on agenda business to be discussed. A deputation is a group of between six to ten people appointed to take part in a formal process on behalf of a wider group.

The member of the public will usually represent a larger group of people or organisation with a cause related to the purpose of the committee. This representative is known as a deputation.

Meetings of the Council and the Executive do not normally receive deputations. However, Committees and sub-committees may agree to receive deputations. This adds the opinions, feedback and concerns of the person/group wishing to speak to the committee agenda.

Requests to submit a deputation must be received by no later than 5pm on the working day before the day of the meeting, and must include:

  1. The name and contact details of the lead spokesperson for the deputation
  2. A statement setting out the reasons why you wish to speak at the meeting and the particular points you wish to make to the Committee
  3. The names of six (but not more than 10) supporters of the deputation, group, organisation, etc

At the committee meeting

People hoping to speak should, in the first instance, take seats in the public gallery. If the committee agree to hear to them they will be invited into the committee room.

They will sit at the end of the table while a designated speaker addresses the committee and answers questions put to them by the committee.

Only one person may speak for up to 5 minutes and groups can consist of up to ten people. The committee can agree to a longer period.

Other members of the group may speak in reply to questions from members of the committee. Once members of the group have spoken they will be asked to sit back in the public gallery while the committee go on to discuss the matter.

If you require further general guidance about how to request a deputation to a committee, please contact the relevant committee secretary (contact details below).

Planning and licensing

The Planning Applications Committee will receive written representations from applicants and the public. These are submitted to the Planning Service as part of the consultations on a residential or business planning proposal. These submissions will be summarised in the reports to the committee.

Special arrangements apply to the Licensing Sub-Committees, which function with objectors and applicants taking part in a 'hearing' before the sub-committee.

Find out more

Further details about submitting a deputation request can be requested from the committee secretary of the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee: