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Have Your Say!


Find out how you can Have Your Say! at any meeting of the Council.

We want you to take part in decision-making
Colchester Borough Council has put in place arrangements so that you can Have Your Say! at nearly all meetings of the Council. There is a period of 15 minutes set aside at the start of each meeting to enable you to Have Your Say! although the Chairman has discretion to extend the time available. You can Have Your Say! on a specific issue being discussed at a meeting, or on a general issue which that meeting would normally deal with.

All meetings are open to the public, except those parts where confidential matters are being discussed. These are few and are usually dealt with at the end of the meeting. You will be asked to leave before these are discussed.

When and where are meetings held?
Most meetings are held at the Town Hall in the High Street starting at 6pm. The Governance and Audit Committee is currently undertaking a trial of a later start time of 7pm and will consider the outcome of the trial in January 2018. Meetings dates and times are shown on posters at council offices and the Community Hub, on the Councillors and Meetings page of the website or from Democratic Services.

How can I Have my Say?
A member of the Democratic Services Team will be present at the meeting to take your name, explain the arrangements to you and show you to the public seating area.  They may ask for your postal or e-mail address so that a written response can be sent to you after the meeting.

When the meeting has started, the Chairman will call your name and invite you to Have Your Say! at the appropriate point. You may be asked to sit at the main table or at a table at the front of the public seating area marked "Have Your Say Speakers Only" where there will be a microphone for you to use.

When it is your turn to speak you will have up to three minutes to get your view across. For best effect you should aim to make your views very concise and short. Your comments must be relevant to the work of the meeting you are addressing. You will be timed and a bell will be rung after two minutes to let you know you have one minute left. A second bell will be rung at the end of the three minutes.

When you have finished speaking the Chairman may respond to your comments or answer your question or invite another Councillor on the Committee to do so. Following this, the Chairman may invite you to respond and, in that case, you will have a further minute to address the Committee. A bell will be rung at the end of the minute and at this point you should return to your seat.

What can I say at the meeting?
You can Have Your Say! on a specific issue being discussed at the meeting, or on a general issue which that meeting normally deals with. With the exception of a petition, you will not be allowed to hand around written or photographic material.

The Chairman may disallow or terminate any public participation which is inappropriate, abusive, indecent, discriminatory, frivolous, irrelevant or otherwise unacceptable.

Planning Committee
The arrangements for Have Your Say! at Planning Committee are slightly different and further information can be found here about Have Your Say! on Planning Applications, Public Rights of Way and certain highway matters or call Amanda Chidgey on (01206) 282227.

Licensing Committee
The law does not allow you to Have Your Say! on specific applications and appeals made under licensing legislation as these are bound by legal requirements for inviting public objections. However, you are able to Have Your Say! on general matters relating to the work of the Licensing Committee and further information about this is available on request from Zoe Gentry on (01206) 506420.

Other ways to make your views known...
You can contact your local Councillor, the Cabinet member or council officer responsible for that service. You can obtain contact details from Democratic Services or go to Colchester Borough Councillors

Current consultations
Take part in Current consultations

If a number of people feel strongly about an issue over which the council has some control you may wish to present a petition. A petition may be presented at any meeting of the council. A petition is defined as 'a clear statement of your point of view supported by one or more co-signatories'. To submit a petition please click Here

Points of view, complaints or compliments
If you have a complaint or compliment about a council service, please ask for our leaflet "Help us get it right!" which tells you what to do. It is available from all council offices. Alternatively you can go to Compliments, Complaints And Comments
How to contact us: 

e-mail:  democratic.services@colchester.gov.uk 
website: www.colchester.gov.uk

Write to: 
Democratic Services 
Colchester Borough Council
Rowan House
33 Sheepen Road