1 The Public Open Forum is designed to give electors the opportunity to make representations to the Council or to ask questions. It takes place before the formal meeting of the Council.
2 The time allocated to the whole period of the open forum is 30 minutes.
3 Whether your attendance is part of a deputation or as an individual, the spokesperson will be invited to put the case with a maximum time limit of 10 minutes. Follow up speakers will be allowed 5 minutes in total.
4 The Chairman will decide whether he can advise the deputation immediately or if he needs to sound out members and/or consult the Clerk. The Chairman will then inform the deputation what action the Parish Council intends to take.
5 The initial response by the Council will be to establish if the matter is something which the Council should be involved in as a matter of public interest or is a private matter for the electors to deal with themselves.
6 What the Council may not be able to do at this initial stage is to attempt to solve the actual problem itself. What the Council will do is to decide the best method to deal with the problem and this can take several forms as follows –
(i) The degree to which the Council can act as advocate on behalf of the individual or group of electors.
(ii) To refer the matter to a Committee of the Council for action.
(iii) To place the matter on a future Parish Council agenda.
(iv) To instruct the Clerk to make further enquiries or conduct correspondence on behalf of the deputation or arrange meetings as considered necessary.
(v) If the matter is already on the Council agenda the Chairman will invite electors to make any points they feel are relevant with regard to the agenda item. The deputation can then remain and listen to the debate in Council
(vi) If, during the formal meeting, the Chairman feels that the deputation has information which will be useful to the Council, the Chairman with the agreement of members can invite a spokesperson to address the Council.