A Parish Council meeting is not a public meeting, but a meeting that is held in public. All members of the public have a statutory right to attend council meetings as observers, but as part of our commitment to community engagement, we also choose to set aside time at each meeting, to hold a public forum called “public participation”. Members of the public are welcome to attend to ask questions or make comments about agenda items or issues causing concern. Submissions (to the Parish Clerk) in advance of the meeting, are also welcomed so that questions can be answered more fully.
The conduct of this “public participation” has to be governed by a set of guidelines or standing orders, which we ask those involved, to respect (see below).
Members of the public are very welcome to stay for the remainder of the Council meeting, as observers, but they will not be able to join in subsequent discussion. If confidential items (eg staffing issues) are discussed, members of the public may be excluded.
Public Participation Guidelines
The Chairman will decide in which order matters will be heard and whether an immediate response will be given at the meeting or arrangements made to respond to or discuss the matter further as part of a future agenda, or in writing.
Each member of the public is entitled to speak once in respect of each matter and for up to 3 minutes, with 10 minutes being allocated overall for the Public Participation section. These limits may be extended at the discretion of the Chairman.
Comments must be addressed through the chair. All those present will act respectfully and will not act in a manner that demeans, insults, threatens or intimidates others. Offensive or threatening behaviour will not be tolerated and Council reserves the right to curtail the contribution of and exclude anyone acting in this manner.
All statements, questions and responses, challenges to statements, complaints or criticisms must be made politely.
All statements, questions and responses must be related to the facts of the matter and not be personal in nature. There should be no reference to personal views on any person.
Questions, comments and responses are minuted concisely. Members of the public who participate in this section of the agenda are not named in the minutes.
Photographing, recording, broadcasting or transmitting the proceedings of a meeting by any means is not permitted without the Council’s prior consent.