The Parish Council has recently received a request for clarification on how a resident can present a petition to councillors. The following information is aimed at re-iterating and explaining the processes to follow where a resident(s) wishes to ask questions of the council, a committee or sub-committee, or present a petition to council. It is hoped that the information adequately explains what should happen, but if you have any further questions or wish to seek advice, please contact the Parish Clerk 01865 861992
Addressing the Council
All Parish Council meetings including all committee are open meeting. This means that members of the public and press are able to attend them. The only exception is when councillores are to discuss confidential items and when this happens there is a separate confidential agenda. Once it had been declared that the meeting is going into confidentail session then the public and press must leave.
Information for the Public
The public have no right to participate in the proceedings of the Council, unless permitted (invited) to do so by Council (the Chairman). Any agreed public participation is restricted to items of business on the agenda for that meeting.
Members of the Public are however encouraged and welcome to attend meetings, and to help create and sustain public interest in the Council's work a 10 minute period (which can in special circumstances be increased, if councillors agree) will be provided to to put relevant question(s) or to receive observations.
There will be a maximum of 5 minutes per question, which can be either spoken or written and should be relevant to the work of the Council, a committee or sub-committee, or an item on the agenda for that meeting. Should a delegation wish to meet the Council they should appoint a spokesperson prior to the meeting. (Please see procedures to follow below).
Procedures to Follow
You must submit your request to ask a question and details of the question in writing (by e-mail if you prefer to do this) to the Chairman of the Parish Council (See How to Contact Us), or the Parish Clerk, no later than 2.00pm on the second working day before the scheduled start time of the Council meeting. A copy of your question will be circulated to councillors in advance of the meeting so that councillors can consider it.
If your request is agreed the Chairman of the Council further copies will be made available to the public and press at the meeting. You will be invited to put your question to the council, (you will have a maximum of 5 minutes to do this), you will then receive an answer (unless further investigations are necessary). Once answered you may put a supplementary question to council provided it is directly out of the original question or answer. You cannot ask more than one question at any one meeting.
Please make yourself known to the Chairman or Clerk before the meeting.
Committee or Sub-Committee Meeting
Again, you must submit your question in writing (by e-mail if you prefer to do this) to the relevant Chairman (See Council Business), or the Parish Clerk, no later than 9.00am on the working day before the scheduled start time of the meeting. A copy of your question will be circulated to councillors in advance of the meeting so that councillors can consider it.
If the Chairman is agreeable, further copies will be made available to the public and press at the meeting. You will be invited to ask your question, (you will have a maximum of 5 minutes to do this) and you will receive an answer (unless further investigations are necessary). Once answered you may put a supplementary question to council provided it is directly out of the original question or answer. You cannot ask more than one question at any one meeting.
Please make yourself known to the Chairman or the Parish Clerk prior to the meeting.
How to Present a Petition to Council
You can present a written petition to a meeting of the council. It must relate to something which the council has responsibility. When you present your petition at a meeting of the council you will be able to address the meeting for up to three minutes to explain what the petition is about.
The written petition must reach the Parish Clerk by 9am on the working day before the meeting you wish to address.
Petitioners should elect a spokesperson who will have a maximum of 3 minutes to present the petition. Councillors will then be able to ask any questions for clarification purposes, which may be fact finding or to establish the accuracy of information contained in or driving the petition.
Following this the Chairman of the Parish Council will accept the petition and then refer it to the appropriate committee/sub committee to consider its content and make any necessary investigations or contacts to allow for a meaningful judgement of the petitions request.
Once the petition is presented it becomes a public document and anyone is entitled to view who has signed it and the reasons for doing so.
Once the relevant committee or sub-committee has completed its investigation, it will report back to council with recommendations. Details of the date and time of the reporting process will be shown on the agenda papers of the relevant Parish Council meeting and on the Parish Council web-site.
Information: Details of the information used or reasons given to petitioners which caused them to support the petition.
Other Detail: The petition to also show the name, address and include the signature of each person on the petition. Only individual signatures will be considered. Single entries purporting to represent more than one person (groups of people) will not be taken into account.