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 a petition, 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 page. Planning Committee and Planning Panel meetings have separate arrangements which are detailed later on this page. If you want to talk to somebody about having your say, contact: Democratic Services Team Telephone 01908 252567 email@example.com Democratic Services Milton Keynes City Council 1 Saxon Gate East Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ Petitions You may either submit your petition direct to the Service Department concerned, or present your petition to the Council meeting. A petition should include a clear and concise statement covering the subject to which it relates and what action is being requested from the Council. The petition should include the name and address of persons supporting the petition. Petitions for submission to Council meeting can be sent to: Democratic Services Milton Keynes City Council 1 Saxon Gate East Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ firstname.lastname@example.org Petitions to be presented to the Council meeting must be received by no later than 48 hours before the start of the meeting. The person presenting the petition will be allowed to address the meeting briefly (not exceeding 3 minutes) to outline the aims of the petition. The Mayor will refer the matter to the responsible Cabinet member, or Committee Chair within who terms of reference the matter falls for a response. The matter may be discussed if there is a relevant item on the Agenda. The person presenting the petition will be permitted to make a statement lasting no longer than one minute in response to the Cabinet member's / Committee Chair's statement. The Council's Scheme for petitions can be viewed online within the Council's constitution. Questions Members of the public 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 48 hours before the start of the meeting. Questions will be taken in the order they are received. The question may receive an oral 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. You will also have the opportunity to ask a supplementary question once you have received a reply. 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. Questions should take no more than 1 minute to ask. Speaking at Meetings 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 including Delegated Decisions or a committee, you must give notice no later than 15 minutes before the start of the meeting. 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 3 minutes. Notice can be sent in advance to email@example.com or handed to the Committee Manager at the meeting. Arrangements for Planning Committees and Panels Public speaking arrangements for the Planning 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 within the Council's constitution which is available online. A member of the public may speak in objection to an application considered by the Committee or Panel 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 are more than one person speaking in objection to the application. Persons wishing to speak at a Planning 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 agenda for that meeting. In addition to speaking at a meeting of the Planning Committee or Planning 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. Calendar of meetings A calendar of meetings can be found here. Meeting dates are subject to change. When looking for details of a particular meeting, please contact the relevant officer to confirm that the meeting is going ahead as scheduled. You can subscribe to updates in order to receive information via e-mail regarding arrangements for particular committee meetings.