Speak at a Council or Committee meeting

What is a deputation?

Council officers prepare reports for Committees and these contain recommendations which the officer would like the Council or Committee to approve. Sometimes you might feel strongly that you would like to see the Council take different action to that which is suggested in a report. Provided that the written report is on the agenda for consideration at a Committee or Council meeting, you can ask to speak to the Committee on the matter. This is known as making a deputation.

How can I make a deputation?

Once a meeting agenda has been published, applications for a deputation in relation to a substantive report on the agenda have to be made in writing (by letter or email) to the Senior Democratic Services Manager - contact details are listed at the bottom of page.

This should be sent as early as possible, but must be done to allow at least two clear working days (Monday to Friday) between receipt of the request and its submission to the Council or Committee.

You should state the subject on which you wish to be heard, and the action (if any) which you propose the Council / Committee should take. Please note that the following deputation requests are not competent:-

  • Deputations which fail to comply with the above deadline
  • Deputations which relate to reports containing confidential information
  • Deputations which relate to the annual budget
  • Deputations which relate to a petition before the Petitions Committee
  • Deputations which relate to a planning or licensing application
  • Deputations which relate to matters that have alternative procedures for representation

You can ask to address the Committee on your own, or with others - up to a maximum of three people in total.

What happens next?

Your request will be circulated to the members of the Committee. The Committee Services Officer will arrange to meet you roughly 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting and they will explain the process to you. The Committee will consider your request at the start of the meeting, and will decide whether or not to hear your deputation. If they agree to hear from you, they will likely do that just before consideration of the report to which your request relates. The report may fall later on the agenda, and the Committee can decide to move the item forward so that you are heard at the start of the meeting, or they may ask you to wait and be heard at the relevant point on the agenda.

Making your deputation

The Convener will ask you to come forward and take a seat at the table. You should use the microphone provided - pressing the button on its base will switch it on. You will have a maximum of 10 minutes to speak to the Committee. After this, the Committee may have questions to ask based on what they have heard you say, and they have 10 minutes in which to ask them. After any questions have been asked, the Convener will thank you for your contribution and ask you to return to the public seating area. You can then stay to hear the debate and decision in relation to the item, and any other public items which the Committee is due to consider.

Please note when making a deputation that your name and request will be included within the agenda paperwork and therefore will be retained online indefinitely as part of the report pack for that meeting.

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