Attending Parish Council Meetings
All parish council meetings are open to the public (unless councillors decide to exclude the public for reasons of confidentiality, which very rarely happens).
You do not have the right to speak at this meeting unless invited to do so by the council. The way this works is as follows:
- You should make yourself known to the clerk or to the chairman of the meeting, ideally before it begins.
- When the item on the agenda on which you wish to speak is reached the chairman may choose to invite the council to “suspend standing orders” to allow you to speak.
- If the council agree to suspend standing orders then you can speak on the item which is concerning you. Please try to be brief: the council has a lot to get through at most meetings. If you take too long the chairman may ask you to stop speaking.
- Once you have made your points the chairman will ask the councillors if they wish to ask you any questions and, if they do, you can reply to those questions.
- The chairman will then resume standing orders and the council will then debate the item. You do not have any right to speak during this debate. The only exception would be if a councillor, through the chair, wishes to put another question to you.
Most people who want to speak to the parish council want to talk on planning applications. Some things to bear in mind:
- The parish council is not the planning authority. We do not decide planning applications, South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) do that, we only recommend to them what we think they should decide and they can (and do) choose to ignore us.
- If you are objecting it is very important that you write to SCDC as well as coming to our meeting.
- We can only object to an application on valid planning grounds so please don’t be disappointed if we don’t comment on issues you regard as important but which, by law, aren’t relevant.