Getting involved and participating in Council meetings

The Council’s constitution sets out a number of ways residents can participate in council meetings.

This page sets out the process for doing this and provides some examples of how this has worked in the past.

You can also:

Asking a question at Full Council

Asking a question at a Full Council meeting is one way residents can participate in the local democratic process.

Full Council comprises the elected Mayor and 58 Councillors. It’s the political focal point for the Council and is responsible for setting the overall corporate direction.

At ordinary meetings of Full Council, any member of the public may ask questions of the councillors of the cabinet, mayoral advisors, committee chairs or councillors as representatives on external bodies.

Questions should be about a matter that the Council is responsible for or affected by. Notice of the question is required to be given in writing (including email) by 12 noon, 8 clear working days before the meeting.

Questions shouldn’t exceed 50 words and the person submitting the question must give their name and address and name the office holder to whom the question is being put.

Attending remotely or in person

If attending remotely or in person, a supplementary question may also be asked to the councillor who has replied to the original question. A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or reply.

Submit a question

Submit a question

Further guidance on submitting questions to Full Council

Guidance can be found at part 4 paragraph 9 of the Council’s constitution.


Organising a petition

We welcome petitions and recognise that petitions are one way in which people can let us know their concerns and participate in the democratic process.

  • we accept petitions signed by no less than 10 people
  • petitions must relate to a matter for which the authority has a responsibility or which affects the borough and its residents
  • all petitions must include the name, address and signature of all persons supporting the petition and details of the petition organiser
  • the petition must contain a clear and concise statement covering the subject of the petition and what action the petitioners wish the Council to take

Our response

Our response to the petition will depend on what the petition has requested and how many people have signed it. The threshold for a debate at Full Council is 750 signatures.

Further information on petitions

Organising a deputation to Full Council or asking your local councillor to consider proposing a motion on your behalf

Motions for debate and deputations provide for issues of interest or concern which affect the borough and its residents to be debated at Full Council.

Motions for debate

Motions for debate provide an opportunity for councillors to raise awareness of a particular issue facing the borough or for which the Council has responsibility and for this to be debated by all councillors. 

Motions enable the Council to adopt a particular course of action or a specific approach or attitude in response following the debate of the issue. This type of motion is governed by specific rules to facilitate the debate.

A motion for debate must be signed by at least 2 councillors, the proposer and the seconder. It should be submitted no later than 12 noon, 8 clear working days prior to the Full Council meeting. A motion may be withdrawn with the consent of the meeting and seconder.

Councillors can also propose a motion without notice at a meeting of Full Council. This is usually procedural and also requires a proposer and seconder.

Further guidance on motions

Guidance on motions with and without notice to Full Council can be found at Part 4 Paragraph 14 of the Council’s constitution.


Any organisation or group may make a written request to address Council about a specific issue which relates to the borough or a Council function. This is known as a deputation. A deputation provides an opportunity to lobby the Council about a shared concern.

A deputation must be signed by 10 or more residents of the borough, must clearly set out its purpose and must also be signed by the councillor who is to introduce the deputation at the Council meeting.

There are times when a deputation may be referred to another council committee or decision-making body, if appropriate

No more than 2 deputations will be taken at each Full Council meeting.

Further guidance on deputations

Guidance on submitting a deputation to Full Council can be found at Part 4 Paragraph 11 of the Council’s constitution.

Page updated on: 11 November 2021

Governance Services


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