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Public Participation Meetings

Attending Meetings at County Hall Worcestershire County Council

Everyone who lives or works in Worcestershire may be affected by decisions made by the County Council.

Many important decisions are made by your elected Councillors at various meetings, nearly all of which are open to the public.  Meetings usually take place at County Hall, Worcester, and most begin at 10a.m.

At Worcestershire County Council we believe in open and accountable government.  Members of the public are very welcome to attend these meetings, whether to hear what is being said, or to participate and ask a question, present a petition or make their own views known. You can create, sign and submit an e-petition online at www.worcestershire.gov.uk/haveyoursay however should you wish to present a petition to a meeting, please refer to the process below.

There are different meetings dealing with different topics, for example Council decides the policy framework and budget, Cabinet makes wide-ranging executive decisions and Planning and Regulatory Committee decides county planning applications.

You can also get involved in the Council's Overview and Scrutiny process, which is a key part of the checks and balances necessary to hold the Cabinet to account and review the services provided by the Council.

More information on how to get involved in the work of Scrutiny.

We publish agendas five working days in advance of the meeting.  Agendas, minutes and reports can be viewed and downloaded from the Council's website.


Our "Forward Plan" also gives an indication of what is intended to be considered by Cabinet over the next 4 or so months.


If you need any guidance, don't hesitate to ask officers in the Legal and Democratic Services Division using the contact details set out below.

Members of the public can participate at meetings, including Council, Cabinet and Committees, in any of the following ways:-

  • presenting a relevant petition to the meeting and explaining its contents or purpose;
  • asking a question at the meeting; or
  • making a comment on any matter on the agenda of the meeting.

The provisions are set out in full in the Council's Constitution – see paragraph 15 at page B9.

Separate arrangements have been made for participation at Planning and Regulatory Committee:-

If your subject is due to be discussed at a forthcoming meeting, we will tell you when that meeting is taking place.  If you want to raise a general matter for which the County Council has responsibility, we will advise you which is the most appropriate meeting to attend.

If several people want to put the same case forward, we may decide to only hear from one spokesperson. In these cases, we can put you in touch with the first person who registered to speak. If that person would prefer you to speak instead of them, then it is possible for the registered speaker to nominate you as the speaker instead.

Speaking is usually limited to 3 minutes per person, and any member of the public wishing to participate should notify the Council in writing, or by fax or e-mail, by no later than 9a.m. on the working day before the meeting at which he/she wishes to participate and indicate the nature and content of the proposed participation. Contact details are shown below.

You will need to tell us:-

  • your name and contact details; and
  • what you wish to speak about.  


If you are asking a question, we will need to receive the full text of your question by no later than 9a.m. on the working day before the meeting.

If you want to submit a petition, we need to receive the full text of the proposition contained in the petition by no later than 9a.m. on the working day before the meeting. You can present the petition at the meeting.  However, if your petition is seeking to influence a decision that is to be taken at a meeting, it is advisable to make it available well before the date of the meeting so that officers and members have an opportunity to see it.

If you wish to make a comment about a matter on the agenda, we do not require the full text of what you wish to say, but we will need a list of main points to be put forward.  Again, this must be received by no later than 9a.m. on the working day before the meeting.  

Please note that a request to speak at meetings may sometimes have to be rejected, for example, if it is not about a matter for which the County Council has responsibility, or if the content is defamatory, frivolous or offensive.  You cannot ask a question if it is substantially the same as a question that has been put to a meeting in the past six months.  Requests to speak cannot be accepted if they require the disclosure of confidential information.  Participation is to allow members of the public to engage with decision-making and speakers should avoid making party political points.

Certain categories of people are prevented from speaking, for example employees of the Council cannot speak on matters that relate to their employment.
In any event, public participation remains at the discretion of the Chairman of the meeting in question.

We will give you advice on whether your request meets the Council's constitutional requirements.

The slot for public speakers is at the start of every meeting, although sometimes the Chairman may ask a speaker to wait until just before the Councillors discuss the item to which the speaker's comments relate. This is particularly the case at the Planning & Regulatory Committee, which has its own scheme for allowing applicants, objectors and supporters to comment on planning applications submitted to the County Council for determination.  Sometimes we alter the agenda order to bring forward matters we know to be of public interest.

Personal details, such as your address or telephone number, are not disclosed without your consent, although your name and general details about you will be made public at the meeting (for example, "Mr. John Smith, who is a speaking as a governor of the local school").

If you ask a question,  efforts will be made to provide an answer at the meeting, but this may not always be possible, particularly with short notice, when a written answer will generally be given .  Questions should be directed to the Chairman, who may do one of several things:-

  • reply to you at the meeting;
  • reply to you in writing following the meeting;
  • decline to reply;
  • ask another Councillor, or an officer, to reply on his/her behalf; or
  • refer the question to another Committee or Panel.

A petition can be presented at a meeting, with or without comment, by the person submitting it, and will be received by the Chairman, who will not normally respond, other than to acknowledge receipt. The petition will then either be taken into consideration before any decision on the matter in question is taken or a response provided as appropriate.

You may want to make a comment on an agenda item at a meeting, without expecting a response. Normally no response is made to comments at the time they are given, but Councillors may have regard to them and may refer to them in the course of the consideration of the relevant item.

By letter:-

Legal & Democratic Services Unit
Worcestershire County Council
County Hall
Spetchley Road
Worcester
WR5 2NP

By e-mail:  sclark@worcestershire.gov.uk

By telephone: (01905) 728713

By fax: (01905) 728747

Alternatively you can contact the Committee Officer named on the contents page of the agenda for a particular meeting.

Agenda can be found at: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/democratic-services/minutes-and-agendas.aspx

Further Information

In this section

More Information

See also in our website

External websites

  • Standards for England
    Standards for England has been a champion of principled local politics since 2001.
  • Directgov – public services all in one place
    The government's digital service for people in England and Wales. Also used to get information to the public in times of crisis or emergency.
  • UK Parliament
    A very easy to use site, including contact details for MPs, clear information about how Parliament works and current topics.
  • Cabinet Office
    With the Treasury, the Cabinet Office provides the head office of government.
  • Local council directory – DirectGov
    Includes all county, metropolitan, unitary, borough and district authority sites.

    We are not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more

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This page was last reviewed 20 January 2014 at 14:44.
The page is next due for review 19 July 2015.