Have your say at Council, Cabinet and Committee Meetings
A Guide to Making Representations to Committees of the Council
Generally meetings of the Council and its Committees are open to the Public and there are a number of ways you can be involved at a meeting, such as by presenting either a petition or a deputation, asking a question or by commenting as part of a debate. More details are mentioned below.
The arrangements for having your say are set out in full in the Council’s Constitution at Council Procedure Rule 9, a link to the Constitution is included at the end of this article.
Development Control Committee and Development Control Panel meetings have separate arrangements which are detailed later in this article.
Contact details for submission of requests and for advice on having your say are listed at the end of this article.
If you want to present a petition to a meeting of the Council, the Cabinet or one of the Council’s Committees please notify the Council’s Democratic Services Team before the start of the meeting, your petition should relate to something which the Council is responsible for, or which directly affects the Council’s area or its residents.
You will be given the opportunity to present your petition at the appropriate meeting and the person presenting the petition will be allowed to address the meeting briefly (Not exceeding 1 minute) to outline the aims of the petition. The Chair of the meeting will refer the matter to the relevant part of the Council without discussion or, if a relevant item is to be discussed at the meeting, the petition will also be discussed.
20 residents or electors of the Borough may form a deputation to a meeting. The object of the Deputation should relate to something which the Council is responsible for, or which directly affects the Council’s area or its residents. Forms to request the Council, the Cabinet or a committee to receive a deputation are available to download or by contacting the Democratic Services Team.
The form will need to include the names and addresses and be signed by the 20 residents or electors forming the deputation and should outline its objective.
The completed form should be sent to the Democratic Services Team by not later than 12:00 noon, 8 clear working days before the meeting at which the deputation is to be presented. (Weekends and Public Holidays are not classed as working days).
Representatives of the Deputation will be given up to a total of 4 minutes to speak at the relevant meeting. Councillors may ask questions of those speaking. If the objective(s) of the deputation are likely to directly or indirectly affect another person or group adversely those persons will be offered the opportunity to reply to what has been said. Once the speeches have been made the Councillors may discuss the matters raised if a relevant item is to be discussed at the meeting.
If a Deputation is submitted to the Full Council and does not relate to a matter on the agenda, the details of the deputation will be referred to the Cabinet or appropriate Committee for consideration.
Members of the Public who are residents of the Borough may ask questions of members of the Cabinet, the Chair of a Committee, or a Leader of a political group on the Council, at meetings of the Council, other than the Annual Meeting, and at the discretion of the Mayor at Extraordinary meetings of the Council.
The total time allocated for questions from the Public will be 30 minutes and a question can only be asked if notice has been given in writing, or by email to the Democratic Services Team no later than 15 minutes before the start of the meeting. Questions will be taken in the order they are received.
The question may receive a verbal answer at the meeting if the Councillor to whom it is addressed is present and has the information available to answer it or a written response may be given.
Questions can also be asked at meetings of the Cabinet and at most committee meetings, where questions may be asked of the Chair and Vice-Chair(s). The rules are the same as for the Council meeting.
With the consent of the Council or Committee a member of the public may speak on up to two items at most meetings of the Council, Cabinet or committees. If you wish to speak at a meeting of the Council, the Cabinet or a committee, if possible, please notify the Democratic Services Team in advance of the meeting. The Chair of the meeting will however generally ask at the beginning of the meeting or each Item whether anyone wishes to speak. If a lot of people want to speak the Chair at his/her discretion may limit the number of speakers, limit the time allowed for each speaker, or limit the overall time allowed for speakers on a particular item. No speech should exceed 4 minutes.
Public speaking arrangements for the Development Control Committee and Panel are different if you want to make representations about a specific planning application, otherwise the rules remain as for other meetings. The rules for speaking on specific planning applications can be found in full here Development Control Committee and Panel - Public Participation (PDF, 1.7MB)
A member of the public may speak in objection to an application considered by the Panel or Committee and will be allocated 3 minutes in which to do so, a maximum of 3 members of the public will be allowed to speak on any one application (these will be determined on a first come first served basis after publication of the relevant agenda). Separate arrangements are in place for Parish and Town Councils. An applicant will be afforded a right of reply and will be offered the same time allocated to all objectors to the application. Where an application is recommended for refusal the applicant (or their agent) will be granted 3 minutes to speak, this will be increased where there is more than one person speaking in objection to the application.
Persons wishing to speak at a Development Control meeting in objection to applications MUST register to do so by 12:00 noon two clear working days before the meeting. (Weekends and Public Holidays are not considered to be working days for these purposes). Requests to speak should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone to the number indicated on the front page of the relevant agenda for that meeting.
In addition to speaking at a meeting of the Development Control Committee or Development Control Panel, members of the public may submit written representations after publication of the Agenda, but these must be received by the Committee Manager whose name is shown on the front of the Agenda by 12:00 noon the day before the meeting.
Milton Keynes Council
1 Saxon Gate East
Telephone: 01908 252567
Last Updated: 13 May 2019