Participate in Meetings
At Council meetings the Mayor and Councillors debate and decide on all sorts of issues that affect our district.
All Council meetings including any Community Board Meetings are generally open to the public, unless there is a reason for public to be excluded. Council meetings are not public meetings but are conducted in public.
Council, Committee, and Community Board Meetings must abide by a set of Standing Orders as adopted at the beginning of the triennium. Standing Orders are a set of rules and procedures that provide a formal framework for the conduct of local authority meetings and ensure that our system of local democracy and decision-making within local government is transparent and accountable.
If you just want to attend a meeting and not speak, you can. Members of the public and the Press are welcome to attend the public parts of meetings. Following normal meetings, any Public Excluded business will be attended to, and the public and the Press will be requested to leave the meeting.
Members of the public are not permitted to speak at any time during meetings, unless invited to do so by the Chairperson. You can also watch from the comfort of your office or home as we live stream most Council and Community Board Meetings, including public participation to our Council Facebook page and, where appropriate, endeavour to respond to Facebook comments during the meeting.
You can also continue to talk with your Elected Representatives about any issues that concern you.
You are still able to make a deputation or petition in an online Public Forum section at the start of the meeting and if you wish to do this, please contact our Governance Team by email HERE or phone the Council's Office five (5) working days out from the meeting date.
Requesting to speak at a Meeting
We set aside 30 minutes at the start of our Council and Community Board Meetings for public participation. This is an opportunity for you to bring matters of concern to your Elected Representatives and comment on agenda items. These usually take three forms.
- PUBLIC FORUM: an individual or group speaking to a matter not necessarily on the Council meeting agenda;
- DEPUTATION: an individual or group speaking to a matter on the Council meeting agenda;
- PETITION: an individual or group presenting to the Council a petition signed by 20 or more people.
To take part in public participation we will need a heads-up and kindly ask that you contact our Governance Team by email HERE or call Council to request to speak.
When you request to speak please let us know:
- Your name;
- Which meeting you’d like to speak at;
- What you’d like to speak about;
- Whether you are speaking as an individual or a representative of a group; and,
- If you are providing information or requesting Council to make a decision.
If your request is approved
If your request to speak is approved, we will email you with details of the meeting and an approximate time of when you’re scheduled to speak.
- If you would like to use a PowerPoint presentation, please email our Governance Team HERE no later than 24 hours before the meeting.
- If you have a handout, please advise our Governance Team HERE no later than 24 hours before the meeting and either email the information to the Governance Team or alternatively bring a minimum of 13 copies with you for distribution.
At the Meeting
Public participation is at the start of the meeting after some initial housekeeping and meeting procedures.
- When you arrive at the venue, please take a seat in the public seating. A member of our Governance Team will be there to greet you.
- If you have brought written material, please give it to our Governance staff who will distribute it to Elected Representatives.
- Please turn off your mobile phone when in the council chamber to avoid disruption and in respect of those who are speaking.
- When it’s your time to speak the Chairperson will introduce you to the Council and invite you up to the submitters table. You may sit or stand to present your submission.
- Please conduct yourself in an appropriate manner during the meeting. Avoid speaking or behaving in a way that disrupts proceedings.
- In the event of inappropriate behaviour, people may be asked to leave the meeting. In serious cases of disruption, the meeting may be adjourned.
- You do not need to stay until the end of the meeting. If you do decide to leave, please do so quietly.
After the Meeting
Your name and the item you spoke to will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The minutes also note which organisation you represented, if applicable. Anything distributed or tabled at the meeting will also become part of the public record. Minutes of the meeting will be published on our website and can be found HERE.