Application to Speak at a Public Meeting

Important Information about Virtual Meetings

Please note the public cannot physically “attend” a Virtual Meeting. However any member of the press and public may listen-in to proceedings at this ‘virtual’ meeting via a weblink which will be publicised on the homepage of our website at least 24 hours before the meeting. Members of the press and public may tweet, blog etc. during the live broadcast as they would be able to during a regular meeting at the Civic Centre. It is important, however, that Councillors can discuss and take decisions without disruption, so the only participants in this Virtual Meeting will be the Councillors concerned, the Officers advising the meeting, and the Officers designated to address the meeting on behalf of any members of the public who have registered in advance to ‘speak’ on the items to be considered. This will take the place of the usual procedure for public speaking at the Council’s regular meetings at the Civic Centre. In order to register for this, written notice must be given using the form at the bottom of this page or by email to membersservices@ashford.gov.uk by 10am two working days before the meeting.

Summary of the Scheme of Public Participation for Virtual Meetings (VMs)

The public cannot physically “attend” a VM.

H.M. Government has recently changed the public’s legal right to attend meetings into a right to hear, by means of technology, the Councillors attending the VM remotely.

Written notice of a wish to speak (by means of the procedure below) at a VM must be given, either to membersservices@ashford.gov.uk or on the form below by 10:00 hours two working days before the VM.

Those registered to speak must membersservices@ashford.gov.uk by 10:00 hours on the day of the VM, a copy of their speech in written, legible English. It should be no longer than 400 words, on a single side of A4 paper, printed in 12-point non-italic sans serif font (e.g. Arial). Any text above 400 words will not be read out.

Speeches received as above will be read to the VM by a competent Officer for and on behalf of the speakers, at the normal times and in the normal order during the VM (subject to the Chairman’s normal discretion).

Important

An Officer reading any speech on behalf of any speaker shall have discretion to omit/edit out any inappropriate language, information or statements.

If any defamation, insult, personal or confidential information, etc. is contained in any speech received from any speaker, and/or is read to the VM by an Officer, each speaker accepts by submitting their speech to be fully responsible for all consequences thereof and to indemnify the Officer and the Council accordingly.

Register to Speak

You can register to speak at a council meeting by completing the form below.

All we need are your contact details and full details of what you want to say.

We will contact you in advance of the meeting to discuss the arrangements for speaking at the meeting with you.

If you need any further information please email the Member Services Team, or telephone 01233 330564.

If you need help completing this form, please telephone 01233 331111 and one of our Customer Service Advisors will talk you through it.