What is a deputation?

Members of the public do not have automatic speaking rights at meetings of Council bodies, such as full Council, Cabinet or scrutiny committees. Instead, any individual or group wanting to address a Council meeting about an issue must make a request to speak in advance, known as making a deputation. After a deputation request is made, usually it is up to the chair of the relevant body to decide whether to hear the deputation or not.

Which body should I make my deputation request to?

Deputations to full Council must relate to the borough or a Council function. The Mayor decides whether deputations should be accepted, but can only take a maximum of three per meeting. As such they might refer your request to a different body. Deputations will not be accepted if they are on the same or a similar subject to a deputation heard in the last 3 months. Additionally, a deputation request may be rejected if the same deputation has been heard already at a different Council meeting.

Cabinet deputations must relate to an item on the agenda. For other bodies, such as scrutiny committees, deputations do not have to relate to an item on the agenda, but must relate to the functions of that body as listed in their terms of reference, which are set out in the Constitution

There are slightly different rules for deputations to Planning Committee, which are set out on a separate webpage.

Licensing Panels and the Licensing (Sexual Entertainment Venues) Sub-Committee do not take deputations but do have a procedure to allow those who have already made representations on applications to speak at hearings. More information on making a representation can be found on our licensing pages.

Before making your deputation, you should consider which body makes decisions on the issue or is best placed to consider the matter. In addition, you should bear in mind that there are only 3 minutes per deputation at Council and Cabinet, but at other meetings there are usually 5 minutes to make a deputation and more time for discussion thereafter. Ultimately the decision on which body to submit your deputation to is yours, but if you would like any advice or are simply unsure about which body you want to address, then please contact Committee Services on 020 7974 1915.

What should I put in my deputation request?

Deputation requests have to be made in writing and should include:

  • A summary of the points you wish to make, including what action you would like the Council to take.
  • Contact details of the person(s) or organisation(s) who would be addressing the meeting. For deputations to full Council, a maximum of 7 people are permitted in the deputation party.
  • Any photographs, pictures or other illustrative material that you want to refer to when making your deputation.

Bear in mind that any deputations that are accepted will be published on the Council's website and copies made for councillors and members of the public. You should read our Privacy Notice in respect of this.

Deputations for full Council can be made via email or by using our Council deputation submission form (Word).

For other bodies, deputation statements should be sent to the clerk of the relevant body, preferably by email, before the deadline.

Deadlines

In order to give councillors and officers time to consider deputation requests, there is a deadline for requests to be made as follows:

Working days are Monday to Friday (not including bank holidays), so for Cabinet, normally a deputation must be received by 5pm on Monday for a meeting on a Wednesday. If the Monday was a bank holiday, then the request would need to be received by 5pm on the preceding Friday. Please feel free to contact us to clarify any deadlines.

What happens at the meeting?

If the deputation request is accepted, officers will publish the deputation statement on the Council's website and provide copies to councillors and members of the public.

At the meeting the deputation will generally be heard as follows:

  1. The Chair will invite the speaker(s) to address the meeting (3 minutes for Council and Cabinet; 5 minutes for other bodies except for Planning Committee). The speaker(s) should make sure the remarks are relevant and no personal attacks or defamatory statements are made. Speakers should also be mindful not to present personal data relating to third parties without their consent.
  2. Councillors can then ask questions (up to 3 minutes at Council and Cabinet; up to 5 minutes at other bodies), to which any member of the deputation can respond.
  3. What happens next depends on which meeting the deputation is at:
  • At full Council, the relevant Cabinet Member or committee chair will respond to the deputation in a speech lasting up to 3 minutes.
  • At Cabinet, an appropriate Cabinet Member will usually comment on the points raised by the deputation during the discussion on the relevant item on the agenda.
  • At other committees, officers will usually respond to the deputation and councillors may ask them questions and discuss the matter.

Once the deputation is over the individual or group can remain to watch the meeting, but can take no further part.

Some meetings of the Council are webcast live on the Internet and are capable of repeated viewing, which would include any deputations unless you have asked not to be filmed in advance.

Privacy Notice

This Privacy Notice relates to information supplied by you when submitting a deputation request or a written submission to a formal body of Camden Council.

Name and contact details of the data controller:

London Borough of Camden
Judd Street
London
WC1H 9JE
020 7974 4444

Who is our Data Protection Officer:

The Council’s Data Protection Officer is Andrew Maughan, who is the Council’s Borough Solicitor.  He can be contacted at dpo@camden.gov.uk.

What will we do with the information that you have provided to us?

Any data you have provided will be processed in such a way as to allow us to deal with your request to make a submission to a formal meeting of Camden Council and to reflect the Council's legal duty to allow public access to its formal meetings (except in limited circumstances where the press and public may be excluded).  We will only process the information provided to us for the purpose for which you have provided it.

Your name and address may appear in the papers of the council, committee or sub-committee meeting that you have asked to make a deputation to.  These papers are freely available on the Council’s website and in hard copy from the Council’s offices.

We will not transfer your personal data outside of the EU/EEA.

How long will we hold this information?

The Council has a legal and public interest obligation to retain records of all formal council, committee and sub-committee meetings, and this will include details of submissions made to those meetings.  More information is contained in the Council’s data retention schedule.

Your data subject rights

You have the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you, the right to ask us to rectify, erase or restrict processing of your data, the right to ask for data portability, the right to object to automated decision making, and if we are relying on consent the right to withdraw consent at any time.  There are some exemptions to these rights.  Please see our website and the ICO website for more information. To exercise these rights please use our web form on the website.

The right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority

You can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office if you are unhappy with how the Council has handled your personal data.  It would be helpful if you contacted us first at dpo@camden.gov.uk to see if we can resolve the problem.  You can contact the ICO via casework@ico.org.uk, telephone on 0303 123 1113, or post to Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.