Public Speaking at an Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Who Can Speak?
Anyone who lives or works in the Dover District Council administrative area, including Town / Parish Councillors and County Councillors, are entitled to speak at a scheduled meeting of one of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees, subject to he or she being present at the meeting when the Chairman of the committee calls upon them to speak. In the event that a person aged under 16 years of age wishes to speak at a committee meeting they must be accompanied by an adult.
How Long Do I Have To Speak?
Each speaker will have three minutes speaking time per item they have registered to speak on and no public speaker or parish council may register to speak on any more than two items on the agenda.
A maximum of thirty minutes will be allocated for public speaking at the meeting. In the event there are insufficient speakers registered to fill the allotted thirty minutes, the public speaking time will be ended after the final registered speaker has spoken.
What Can I Speak On At The Meeting?
A member of the public speaking on an agenda item must address their speech to the item they have registered to speak upon on the agenda and cannot address other agenda items or unrelated business. The right of the public to speak, or indeed to attend, does not apply to business on the agenda in respect of which a resolution to exclude the press and public for the consideration of confidential or exempt business has been carried.
What Can't I Speak On At The Meeting?
The right of the public to speak does not apply to the following agenda items: Apologies; Appointment of Substitute Members; Minutes; the Forward Plan, the Scrutiny Work Programme, any agenda item that is not accompanied by a written report or any agenda item for which the Chairman has exercised her or his discretion to withdraw the right of public speaking.
The Chairman of the committee will have the discretion to stop a speaker before their allotted time has concluded if in the Chairman’s view the speaker is making any comments that are, or appear to be, defamatory, vexatious, discriminatory, contain offensive language, are contrary to the procedures laid out in the public speaking protocol, are unrelated to the agenda item under consideration, or behaviour otherwise not appropriate for an Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting.
The right to speak does not include the right to ask any questions of any District Councillor, Officer of the Council, invited attendee, or any other public speaker.
How Do I Register to Speak?
The agendas for Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings are published on the Council's website five working days before the date of the meeting. Members of the public who wish to register to speak at meetings of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees should apply in writing using the designated application form by no later than 2pm on the second working day before the meeting. Any requests received after this time will automatically be rejected. In addition, no request to speak will be accepted prior to the publication of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee agenda.
Those members of the public who are successful in registering to speak will be advised on the working day before the meeting. Further details on how the public speaking process operates can be found in the overview and scrutiny public speaking protocol.
If you have any questions concerning public speaking at a meeting of one of the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committees please contact a member of the Democratic Services team on the telephone and e-mail address below for further details.
Submit a Public Speaking request »