At the meeting
1. Council meetings are normally held in the Council Chamber at the Runnymede Civic Centre, Addlestone at 7.30 in the evening (you can confirm this with the Council's Democratic Services Section). When you arrive, identify yourself to a member of staff and then take a seat in the public gallery. When it comes to the time for public speaking and questions, the Mayor will call anybody who has made a proper request, in the order that their requests were received by the Chief Executive. There is a maximum of half an hour to hear everybody which should normally be more than enough, but see note 6 below.
2. When it is your turn, please stand. You will have a maximum of 5 minutes to speak on the topic you mentioned in your request, or to ask the question you set out. If you are asking a question you can make some introductory or explanatory remarks but you will still only have a maximum of 5 minutes.
3. If you are making a speech, you will sit down at the end and the Mayor will pass on to the next speaker. If you have asked a question, the Mayor may answer it or will call an appropriate senior Councillor to answer it (the Leader of the Council, the Deputy Leader, or the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of a Committee). If the Councillor chooses to answer (there is no obligation), he or she can do so either orally there and then, or by promising a written reply to reach you as soon as possible after the meeting.
4. If you ask a question and do not use your full 5 minutes in asking it, you may ask only one supplementary question once the Councillor has responded. You cannot make any introductory or supporting remarks for the supplementary question, and it must relate to the subject of the first question. You may, for example, try to clarify a point made in the answer. The Mayor will call the same Councillor to respond. You only have the right to ask one supplementary question.
5. Once you have finished speaking on the specified topic or, as the case may be, after the Councillor has responded to your original question and any supplementary one you ask, the Mayor will move on to the next speaker or next business.
6. When the half hour allowed for public speaking and questions is up, the Mayor will allow any immediate speech, or question and answer, to finish and will then move to the Council's next business. If you are still waiting to ask a question at this point, the Council will send you a written answer as soon as possible after the meeting. If you are waiting to speak, unfortunately there will be no way of giving you the opportunity before the next Council meeting. The Council staff will automatically move your request forward to the next Council agenda unless you notify them that you do not want to speak at that meeting.
Your written request should be sent to
Runnymede Borough Council
Runnymede Civic Centre
Dates of forthcoming Committee meetings and copies of agendas and minutes can be viewed on the ‘Councillors and Committees’ webpage.
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