How the Council works

  1. Management
  2. Councillors - and the work they do
  3. Decision-Making
  4. Public involvement at Council and Committee Meetings (You are here)

Public involvement at Council and Committee Meetings

Members of the public are welcome to attend committee meetings.

See upcoming committee meetings

This section outlines how members of the public can ask questions and submit petitions to the Council.

Questions from members of the public

The Council welcomes questions from members of the public at meetings of the Council, Cabinet and committee meetings.

Due to the formality of meetings of full Council, there are different rules in place for giving notice to ask questions. There is no requirement to give notice for questions at meetings of Cabinet or other committees.

As a general principle at all meetings, you will be allowed to ask one question and one supplementary question. The Chair of the meeting has the discretion to allow more than one question.

You can find out how to ask questions at Council below.

Who can ask questions at Full Council meetings?

Any member of the public may ask questions of councillors of the Cabinet, chairs of committees and the Leader of the Council at ordinary meetings of the Full Council.

How much notice is needed to submit or ask a question?

A person may only ask a question if notice of it has been given in writing (or by email) no later than 10am three working days in advance (e.g. Friday for a meeting on the Wednesday - five days later).

The person submitting the question must give their name and address and name the councillor to whom the question is being put.

Submit your question notice

Are the questions asked in any specific order?

Questions are asked in the order in which they were received (please note that the Mayor may group together similar questions).

How many questions can you submit?

A person can submit one question at any given meeting

How are details of questions submitted recorded?

Each question submitted is entered in a book that is open to the public. A copy of the question is sent to the councillor to whom it is to be put. Rejected questions will include reasons for rejection. Copies of all questions will be circulated to all councillors no later than at the meeting and will be made available to the public attending the meeting. The question and the response provided will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

What is the protocol for asking the question at the meeting?

The Mayor will invite the questioner to put the question to the councillor named in the notice. If a questioner is unable to attend the meeting, a written reply will be given.

What is the position on asking supplementary questions?

If a member of the public asks a question in person they may also put one supplementary question to the councillor who has replied to their original question.

A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or the reply.

How will questions not answered at the meeting be dealt with?

Any question that cannot be dealt with during public question time will be dealt with by a written reply.


The Council adopted a petition scheme in May 2017 which outlines how to submit a petition, how it will be considered and how it will be responded to.

Download the Petition Scheme

Petitions submitted with 20 or more valid signatures are entitled to be presented at a full meeting of the council and a response will be sent by the relevant senior officer after the meeting.

Petitions with 600 or more valid signatures will be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.

Petitions bearing 2,000 or more valid signatures will trigger a debate of the full council.

See current e-petitions

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