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Rules of Local and Joint Committees

Rules and guidelines for petitions and questions

We encourage residents to ask questions and present petitions at the local/joint committee meetings. However there are some guidelines that you need to follow in order to do so.

Please note that meetings may be filmed/recorded or reported on social media; please tell us if you do not wish to be filmed or photographed. Your question/petition will be given to all members who are at the meeting. Your name will be included in the papers and in the minutes of the meeting, unless you request anonymity. For more information about how we handle your data, please read our privacy notice.


Asking a question at public question time

If there is something you want to know about how the council works or what it is doing in your area, you can ask the local/joint committee about it. Most local/joint committees provide an opportunity to raise questions, informally, for up to 30 minutes before the meeting officially starts. The local/joint committee will be able to answer questions that relate to topics within its remit. However, if an answer cannot be given at the meeting, they will make arrangements for you to receive an answer either prior to, or at the next formal meeting.

Writing public questions

You can also put a question to the local/joint committee in writing. The Partnership Committee Officer must receive it by noon a minimum of four working days before the day of the meeting.

When you arrive at the meeting let the committee officer know that you have submitted a written question. The chairman will decide when your question will be heard during the meeting (either at the beginning or during a relevant item on the agenda), and you may be given the opportunity to ask a follow-up question (known as a 'supplementary' question).

Signing a petition

If you live, work or study in Surrey and have a local issue of concern, you can petition the local/joint committee and ask it to consider taking action on your behalf. Petitions should have at least 30 signatures and should be submitted to the committee officer at least two weeks before the meeting. You can also start an e-petition on the Surrey County Council website.

You will be asked if you wish to outline your key concerns to the committee and will be given 3 minutes to address the meeting. Your petition may either be discussed on the day at the meeting or alternatively, you may need to wait for an answer to be obtained at the following meeting.

Where questions or petitions are submitted in writing, in most cases, you should receive an officer response before the meeting.

Rights of Way

When local/joint Committees receive reports which require them to make a decision about a public right of way, specific rules for public speaking apply. These are set out in the leaflet attached below. In each case you should make contact with the Partnership Committee Officer who covers your area.

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