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.
While the Council is holding remote meetings, existing rules with regard to deputations still apply but there are variations to our rules in light of current restrictions. You can find out more information on our remote meetings page.
Any person who would like to make a deputation, but cannot participate in the meeting due to technological barriers, may submit a written submission in lieu of a deputation.
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 in our Planning Committee deputation pages.
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 and for those who have made representations you can find out more information on our pages about speaking at licensing hearings.
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, including email address, of the person(s) or organisation(s) who will be addressing the meeting. For deputations to full Council, a maximum of 7 people are permitted in the deputation party. However, please note that you must identify a single speaker for the deputation party in case of connection issues. If the identified speaker’s connection fails when the item under consideration is the item on which they have asked to address the committee, the meeting will be adjourned or the Chair may choose to move to another item if appropriate while the connection is re-established. Where the connection of another member of the deputation party is interrupted, the Chair will not ordinarily adjourn the meeting but will have the discretion to do so where considered appropriate.
- 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.
For other bodies, deputation statements should be sent to the clerk of the relevant body, preferably by email, before the deadline. It is strongly recommended that you submit your deputation requests via email as these can be picked up more quickly.