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Speaking at a Council or Committee meeting

Venue: Zoom - Remote meeting. View directions

Contact: Catherine Phythian, Committee and Member Services Officer  email tel 01865 252402

Link: this meeting will be held by Zoom and streamed to the Council's YouTube channel when the meeting starts

No. Item

Information for those attending regulatory committees - Remote meetings guidelines

Regulations passed in April 2020 enable the Council to hold meetings without some or all Members being physically present together in a room. To ensure the smooth running of remote meetings the Council has agreed a Protocol for Remote Meetings and everyone is asked to follow these guidelines which are based on that Protocol.

Attendance at remote meetings

Members (councillors) are “in attendance” provided that they can hear and be heard by the other participants. Any loss of visual connection does not give rise to non-attendance but a loss of audio connection does.

Should you lose connection to the meeting try to reconnect immediately. If you cannot immediately re-join the meeting by video link, please dial in to the meeting using the telephone number provided in the joining instructions.

If a Councillor loses connectivity to this meeting they will be prohibited from participating in the debate and voting on that agenda item unless the discussion is paused for the period of their non-attendance.

If other participants lose connection, this does not affect the debate or vote.

Remote meetings etiquette

All participants are asked to:

·       Stay visible on camera while your video feed is on. Turn the camera off if you stand up or leave your seat.

·       Keep your microphone muted unless speaking. Un-mute / mute your own microphone before and after speaking.

·       Use the “raise hand” icon to indicate a wish to speak. This is located in the “Participants” tab. Please be patient, the Chair will call you to speak and has absolute discretion to determine the order in which participants speak. Please lower your virtual hand after speaking.

·       Not speak over other participants.

·       Keep contributions relevant and concise.

·       Councillors and officers must use the Chat function only to assist with the smooth administration of the meeting, e.g. to alert officers to a loss of audio connectivity.

Voting at remote meetings

When determining an application the voting will be by a roll call.

When called by the Clerk, Councillors are asked to state how they are voting on the proposal (e.g. “for”, “against” or “abstain”). Any Member who has not been in attendance to hear the full presentation and debate on an agenda item will be required to abstain from voting on that matter.



Apologies for Absence


Declarations of Interest


Update report - Committee on Standards in Public Life pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Purpose of report:

This report informs the Committee of the progress in implementing the recommendations of the Committee on Standards in Public Life report on Local Government Ethical Standards.


That the Standards Committee resolves to note the report.

Additional documents:


Code of Conduct: summary of complaints and individual dispensations - 1 June 2020 until 30 September 2020 pdf icon PDF 234 KB

Purpose of report:

To advise the Committee of:

1.      the number of complaints received under the Members’ Code of Conduct which have been, or are to be, considered by the Head of Law and Governance (in her statutory capacity as the authority’s Monitoring Officer) and the Independent Persons. The report also notes the outcome, where complaints have been concluded; and

2.       the number of dispensations to an individual member, granted under Section 33 of the 2011 Localism Act, by the Monitoring Officer, following consultation with an Independent Person.



That the Standards Committee notes the content of the report.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 552 KB



To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 29 June 2020 as a true and accurate record.



Dates of future meetings

The Committee is scheduled to meet at 6.00pm on the following dates:

·       8 March 2021



Public access to this meeting and members of the public speaking

Remote meetings will be held on Zoom.


Public access to remote meetings

1.       You can watch the meeting remotely by clicking on the link in the comments section or under ‘media’ sited just above the agenda items.

2.       The live link will appear on this page just as the meeting starts. This will launch a YouTube video of the live meeting. If it does not, then follow the link to the council’s YouTube channel where the video will be playing.

Registering to speaking

3.      Members of the public can register to speak at a meeting in accordance with the Procedure Rule within Council’s Constitutions.

4.      For this committee you must register to speak before 4pm on the day of the meeting. You must also supply an email address and phone number.

5.       Members of the public registering to speak are recommended to submit their contribution in writing to not less than 24 hours before the meeting is due to start. This will ensure that their contribution can be taken into account and, where necessary, responded to, in the event that the connection is poor or they are otherwise unable to join the meeting. Members of the public who register to speak will be advised of any word limit for their written submission.

Public attendance and speaking at remote meetings

6.      Members of the public viewing the meeting should do this through the weblink to the live stream as above.

7.      Members of the public may register to speak at the meeting in accordance with the procedure rules (see 4 and the notes at the end of the agenda frontsheet)

8.      Those registering to speak will be provided with joining instructions and guidance on public participation in remote meetings by the Committee and Member Services Team.

9.       When the meeting starts, or during the agenda item before the one they are speaking on, they should follow these instructions and join the meeting. When joining a meeting members of the public with a right to speak must ensure that they can be identified as a registered speaker otherwise their access to the meeting will be blocked.

10.   They will be held as an ‘attendee’ and be able to see and hear the meeting but not take part.

11.   The Meeting Host will ‘enable’ their microphone when they are called to speak, or may admit them to the meeting. They must not speak until are invited to do so by the Chair. Speeches are timed from the first words of the speech: there is no penalty for delays caused by the technology.

12.   The member of the public may remain as an attendee or in the meeting to hear the remainder of the agenda item. Once their contribution has been heard the Meeting Host will mute their microphone and it must remain muted for the remainder of the meeting unless the Chair invites them to speak again, at which point the microphone will be enabled again.

13.   At the end of the agenda item, the Chair may ask speakers attending for that item to disconnect from the remote meeting and the Meeting Host may remove their access to the meeting. Members of the public may continue to observe the meeting by watching the live stream accessed via a link on the Council’s meetings webpages.

14.   If a member of the public exercising their right to speak at a remote meeting loses connectivity during their contribution, they should immediately dial back in to the meeting using the telephone number provided in the joining instructions.

15.   If a member of the public exercising their right to speak at a remote meeting loses connectivity and is unable to re-join the meeting their previously submitted written contribution will be considered (it will be read out by an officer who will keep strictly to the allocated time limit). If no written contribution has been submitted the meeting will proceed without considering their contribution.


Press access to remote meetings

16.   Journalists wishing to attend a remote meeting are advised to inform not less than 24 hours before the meeting is due to start to be issued with joining instructions.

17.   Journalists in remote attendance are asked to keep their microphone muted and their video camera turned off.

18.   Alternatively journalists can access meetings by viewing the live stream as set out in 1 and 2 above.