Having Your Say at Meetings
All Council and Committee meetings are open to the public unless exempt or confidential information is being discussed.
We welcome public participation in our meetings through the procedures and mechanisms provided. We would like the community to contribute to issues which affect Welwyn Hatfield. Members of the Committee Services Team will be happy to assist and advise on the procedures and answer any questions you may have.
Please note there are separate schemes for speaking at Planning Control and Licensing Committees as detailed below.
Open door to democracy
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has an open door policy for local residents to ask questions and present petitions. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to participate in decision making. The Open Door to Democracy [343KB] tells you how you can take part.
A period of time is set aside (if required) at the beginning of meetings (except quasi-judicial meetings and the Standards Committee) for members of the public to ask questions of the Full Council, Cabinet, Executive Members or a committee.
All questions must be relevant to the work of the particular meeting and only one question per person may be submitted. If you are unable to attend the meeting, your question will still be submitted to the meeting on your behalf and a written response will be sent to you. Questions cannot be presented to the Planning Control Committee about individual planning applications, only questions on general planning matters are permitted.
Questions must be submitted in writing or by email by 5pm on the last working day before the meeting to:
Governance Services Manager
Welwyn Garden City
Provision is made at the beginning of meetings (except quasi-judicial meetings, the Standards Committee and the Planning Control Committee) for the public to present petitions. Petitions must be signed by at least 50 people and should be on any issue of local concern for which the Council has responsibility.
If you are unable to attend the meeting your petition will be submitted to the meeting on your behalf and a written response sent to you. Committee Services must be informed by 2pm (see contact details above) on the day of the meeting if you intend to present / submit a petition.
Please see our Model Petition Scheme [25KB]
Public Speaking at Planning Control Committee
We have introduced a scheme to allow members of the public to speak about planning applications at meetings of the Planning Control Committee. An applicant (or their agent), a member of the local parish council and anyone who has sent in written objections or observations about the application may speak. However only one person in each category may speak.
Full details of the scheme are set out in Public Speaking at Planning Control Committee [39KB].
You should contact the Committee Section by 5pm on the day before the meeting to register to speak.
Licensing and Regulated Entertainment and Licensing Sub-Committees
We have also set up a scheme to allow members of the public to speak about licensing applications. A member of the public may speak in support of (in addition to the applicant and their agent) or make representations against an application as long as they have sent written representations when the application was advertised. If a large number of people wish to speak we would encourage a spokesperson, or ask that only additional points be made to avoid lengthy repetition.
Full details of the scheme are set out in the Licensing Hearings Procedure [34KB].
There is a similar Hearings Procedure for the Licensing Committee, although with the type of cases this committee deals with, there is not a legal requirement for speakers to have submitted written representations in advance.
If we have enough notice we can supply signers for members of the public who are hard of hearing. We have a loop system in all our meeting rooms.