Public Participation at a Council Meeting

Formby Parish Council’s Standing Orders (number 3) makes provision for members of the public to speak in Council meetings.

Public Participation

At meetings of the full Council a Public Forum will be held when the meeting is adjourned to allow for public participation, except when the Parish Council is observing the rules of purdah during a pre-election period.

  • Members of the public may speak at Council meetings only during the Public Forum.

(Standing Order 3g) Members of the public may speak for a maximum of five minutes each during the period of public participation.

  • Five Minutes per person ensures that the meeting is not overly long and that everyone who wants to is able to have their turn at speaking.

Following submission by a member of the public, any Member of the Council may, through the Chairman, ask questions of the person(s) concerned for clarification purposes or on points of information.

  • If the councillors need further information they may ask you questions.

(Standing Order 3h) Any question from the member of the public shall not require a response at the meeting nor start a debate on the question. The Chairman of the meeting may direct that a written or oral response be given.

  • It’s not always possible for an answer to be given at the meeting depending on the nature and complexity of the subject. The council may want to carry out research, gather data or consult others before it can respond fully to you or discuss knowledgeably the matter you wish to raise.

If more than one person wants to speak, the Chairman of the meeting shall direct the order of speaking. If more than one person wants to speak on the same or similar issue, they shall elect one person to speak on their behalf.

  • If a number of people are representing a group or are lobbying on the same subject they should nominate a single individual to speak for them. This helps to ensure that if there are multiple issues debated by separate groups every group gets an equal opportunity to speak about the agenda item that is important to them.