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Public participation

We encourage members of the public to participate in our meetings. All relevant issues raised by members of the public will be taken into account when the Council is making its decisions.

Planning and licensing committee

From May 2020, until further notice, meetings of the Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee will be held remotely because of Coronavirus restrictions. Councillors and Officers will attend by video conferencing and members of the public will be able to view the meeting on Facebook Live (you will not need a Facebook account).

To take part in the meeting you will need to request an electronic invitation to the virtual meeting or to send a written submission (no longer than 450 words) which will be read to the meeting by a member of staff. The maximum permitted time allocated to each speaker at the meeting or for a submission to be read is three minutes. Any request to participate via invite or written submission must be received by Democratic Services no later than 12 noon two days before the meeting, ideally via email to: democratic@cotswold.gov.uk.

Requests for submissions will be allocated on a first come first served basis and if a submission has already been received by another member of the public for the same group, a member of staff will contact you to discuss any alternative options.

These temporary processes aim to strike a balance between the need to conduct business, technological and other risks, and the wish to continue to hear important points at the time of making Committee decisions. We will keep the processes under review.

Participating in Council and committee meetings

You can participate at our meetings by submitting a:

  • question, our procedure rules allow a period of fifteen minutes in total for written questions to be put to the Council or a committee about any matter on which we have any powers or duties or which affects the district
  • petition, you can present a petition at a meeting to express local feeling about an issue or a suggested action that we might take. A petition must contain at least 10 signatures, but the way that a petition is dealt with does depend on the overall number of signatures.

In addition, members of the public are welcome to attend any Council or committee meetings unless personal or confidential business is being discussed. We will try to make sure that all meetings are held in venues that have reasonable access and seating for members of the public. A hearing induction loop is available at our offices in Trinity Road, Cirencester.

Asking questions


Questions can be put by electors within the Cotswold district or a representative of a business operating within the Cotswold district. A question can be rejected by the proper officer if we have no responsibility for the matter or it does not affect the district. We will also not consider any question that is defamatory, offensive or frivolous. We will reject any question substantially the same as one already put to a meeting of the Council or a committee in the last six months, or requires the disclosure of confidential information.

 

Notice for questions

A request to ask a public question at a meeting must be made, ideally by e-mail, to the Interim Chief Executive: christine.gore@cotswold.gov.uk. No later than 5pm on the last working day before the date of the meeting. No prior notice of the content of the question is required. No more than two questions may be submitted by the same person or on behalf of a single organisation.

 

Meeting processes

The chair will invite the questioner to put the question to the committee. The questioner must attend the meeting to ask the question and to enable the question and response to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. Meetings are currently being held virtually in accordance with social distancing requirements. Questioners can only attend a meeting via the virtual meeting invite, sent to them at the time they register their intention to ask a question.

 

Replies to questions

If a full response cannot be given to a question at the meeting, a full written response will be provided within five working days of the meeting. If there are still public questions outstanding when the time allotted for their consideration at a meeting runs out, the questioners will receive a written answer. There cannot be any discussion on questions but any matters raised by a question can be referred to the Council, the Cabinet or the appropriate committee.

Petitions

We welcome petitions from those who live, work, or study in Cotswold district and recognise that petitions are one way in which people can let us know their concerns or the strength of public feeling.

All petitions sent or presented to the Council will receive an acknowledgement within 10 working days of receipt. This acknowledgement will set out what we plan to do with the petition.

There is no standard format for a petition but it must include:

  • a clear and concise statement covering the subject of the petition. It should state what action the petitioners wish us to take
  • the name and address and signature of any person supporting the petition, which must be not fewer than 10 persons

Petitions should be accompanied by contact details, including an address, for the petition organiser. This is the person we will contact to explain how we will respond. If the petition does not identify an organiser, we will contact signatories to agree who should act in this capacity.  

Our local petitions scheme contains further information about submitting petitions, including  some matters which are excluded by law from the scheme.

Details of petitions received, and of our response, will be published on the website. The contact details of the petition organiser will not be placed on the website.

Send paper petitions to the head of democratic services at the address found in the contact us bar at the bottom of the page.

e-Petitions

There is also provision in our local petitions scheme for petitions to be submitted online. Unfortunately the online facility is currently unavailable. 

Verification number for a constitutional change

Regulations made under the Local Government Act 2000 require every local authority to publish a verification number which is equal to five percent of the local government electorate on 15 February every year.

This figure represents the number of signatures needed on a petition to hold a referendum to decide whether the authority's political structure should be subject to a constitutional change to operate a mayor and cabinet executive or the committee system.

Current petitions

There are no current petitions.

Help to participate in meetings

We encourage everyone to participate in our meetings. 

If you require any additional assistance, for example a hearing loop, help with access etc, or concerns about participation, please discuss them with the head of Democratic Services (contact details below.)  We will do whatever we can to help or to reassure you.

Publishing of meeting agendas and minutes

A reasonable number of agenda papers are made available for members of the public attending meetings. Papers are published on our website five working days in advance of the meeting and a copy is available for inspection at our Trinity Road offices in Cirencester, during normal office hours. Minutes of the meeting are made available in the same way as soon as possible after the meeting.

Contact details

Our Monitoring Officer is the officer for all matters about our constitution. Contact the Monitoring Officer using: