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Minor changes to public participation scheme

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Minor changes are to be made to the Peak District National Park Authority’s public participation scheme, which allows people to speak at committee meetings.

Unlike most local authorities, which allow between one and three speakers per side on any subject, the Peak District National Park Authority currently has no limit on the number of public speakers about items being discussed by its committees.

A public consultation was held during October and November to decide whether to limit the number of public speakers to bring the authority in line with other national park authorities and local councils after concerns were expressed about the length of meetings.

Members of the authority decided to make some minor changes to the public participation scheme but to spend more time considering options for handling cases where there are large numbers of public speakers.

Councillor Tony Favell, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “The public were clear in the consultation that they really appreciated the fact we offer more opportunities to speak at committee meetings than other local authorities in this area and other national park authorities.

“Although the proposals would have only made minor changes to this members decided they wanted more time to carefully consider any proposals which might limit the public right to participate in authority meetings.

“The chairs and vice chairs of the planning committee and the audit, resources and performance committee are going to meet to discuss possible solutions in situations where there are large numbers of people wanting to speak at a meeting.”

The authority did agree that:

  • Speakers would not be allowed when authority members are discussing exempt items (non-public discussions) or items for information
  • Authority employees could not use the scheme to speak to members
  • People speaking should not be able to use presentations, additional photographs or 3D models
  • All speakers should use the microphones provided in the room and accept by taking part that their contribution will be recorded
  • No speakers can introduce or circulate written statements at the meeting

Any wider changes to the public participation scheme proposed by the chairs and vice chairs of the committees will go back to a future authority meeting to discuss.

This is an archived press release

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