How to have your say at meetings
You can have your say during the public forum session of an Ordinary Council meeting. This can be a general comment or a formal submission related to a particular consultation.
Anything you say, including personal information such as your name, will be available to the public and media as part of the decision-making process.
What is a Public Forum?
A Public Forum is an opportunity for you to tells us what you agree with, what you are concerned about, disagree with or feel should be changed or what other issues you would like considered.
Where to come
All meetings are held in the Council Chambers, Main Office, Miranda Street, Stratford and are advertised in the local Press and on Councils website.
When to come
For general comments you need to contact us and let us know what subject you'd like to comment on. We will let you know of the next relevant meeting and will advise you of the approximate time that you will be able to speak.
It is important that you arrive at the meeting at least 10 minutes before your allocated time. If we are ahead of schedule you may be asked to speak earlier than your allocated time.
Who will be there
You will be there together with the Mayor, Councillors and Council officers. Other members of the public who have requested to speak and the media (print, radio and online journalists) may also be there.
Before the meeting
- At least a week before the meeting advise our Executive Administration Officer if you need any special equipment set up or if you have any special needs, eg. accessibility issues.
- You can bring along written material summarising or elaborating on your position. Please ensure that you bring sufficient copies (15 copies are required).
At the meeting
- When you arrive sit in the public area of the meeting room.
- If you have brought written material please give it to the Executive Administration Officer to distribute.
- The Chairperson will advise you how long you have to speak.
- When it is your turn to speak the chairperson (usually the Mayor) will introduce you to the Councillors and invite you up to the speakers table. You may sit or stand to present your comment(s). Note: Please be aware that Councillors receive copies of all written material and you should not read this to the Council.
- If you wish, you may bring a support person who can sit with you when you speak.
- Any equipment you have prearranged to use will be accessible from your speaking position.
- When you have finished speaking Councillors may ask you a few questions; you may not question or debate with Councillors.
- Following your public comment, you may take a seat in the public area to hear proceedings which will be discussed by Council after the Ordinary Meeting ends.
If the matter that you have spoken about is on the meeting agenda then your comments will be taken into consideration by the councillors/members when they are considering that report.
If the matter that you have spoken about is not on the agenda then no resolution can be made on your presentation, but Council Officers may be asked to prepare a report for consideration at a subsequent meeting.
What you cannot do at a meeting
- Public forum sessions are not a forum to request information. General requests for information are best made by calling us on 06 765 6099.
- You may not enter into a debate with the members of the meeting.
- You may not be disrespectful or offensive – if you are then the chair may terminate your speaking rights.
- Placards, banners and signs are prohibited, you may be asked to remove other similar items from the room.
- The public may not make disturbance during the meeting and the chairperson has the right to have disruptive people removed.
- Remember that because these are public meetings you may attend and observe proceedings on any day the Council meets.
If you would like to speak to your local Council on any specific matter or give a presentation you can do so by completing the Request to Speak at Public Forum Form and drop it into Council.
For any enquiries please contact the Executive Administration Officer