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Attending meetings

1. Attending meetings
2. Questions at committee meetings
3. Questions to full Council meetings
4. Filming, recording and broadcasting meetings.

Islington Council is committed to being open and transparent in the way it conducts its business. The majority of the important decisions the council makes are made at meetings of the Executive, full Council or one of the council's committees. The meetings are held in public and members of the public are very welcome to attend. If there are confidential or exempt matters to be discussed, part of the meeting may be in private, but this is very rare..

The Meetings Calendar shows which meetings are taking place each month, or you can view the list of meetings for an individual committee under the Committees tab. The individual committee pages also lists the members, includes a brief description of the committee's role and the contact details of the committee clerk who can assist with any enquiries.

The meeting agenda and all non-exempt papers are publically accessible documents and these are available five working days before each meeting. Papers can be downloaded either via the Meetings Calendar or the list of meetings under the Committees tab or if you prefer, hard copies are available on request from the Democratic Services Team.

The council welcomes active participation by members of the public.  The procedures followed at some meetings, such as Planning and Licensing committees, are governed by legislation, but it is usually possible for members of the public to speak either for or against an application.  At other meetings, such as full Council, it is possible for members of the public to ask councillors questions and present petitions, and members of the public frequently give evidence at the council's scrutiny committees.

If you would like to know more about attending a particular meeting, please contact the Democratic Services team at democracy@islington.gov.uk .

Questions at committee meetings

The council has tried to ensure that there are opportunities for members of the public to ask questions and get involved in decision making in the borough. There are standing items on all scrutiny committee agendas for members of the public to ask questions about any item on the agenda and when the Executive are considering a recommended course of action, the Chair will ask the members of the public present if they have any questions on the item before the Executive reaches a final decision, but the main opportunity for members of the public to ask questions is at an ordinary meeting of full Council.

At scrutiny committees members of the public may ask one question relating to any subject on the meeting agenda and one supplementary question, arising directly out of the original question or the councillor's reply.

A question may be rejected if it:

(a) is not about a matter for which the Council has a responsibility or which affects the area;
(b) is defamatory, frivolous or offensive;
(c) is substantially the same as a question asked within the last six months;
(d) requests the disclosure of information which is confidential or exempt; or
(e) names, or clearly identifies, a member of staff or any other individual.

An answer will not be given during the meeting if the questioner is not present or time allowed for questions has run out. In these cases, a written reply will be sent to the questioner, providing contact information has been supplied.

Questions at full Council meetings

At ordinary meetings of full Council, except the meeting at which the Budget is agreed, questions may be asked of the Leader, another member of the Executive or the Chair of any scrutiny committee. Members of the public may ask one question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the borough. The time set aside for questions from members of the public is 30 minutes.

There is no requirement to submit questions in advance; however, the Mayor determines the order in which questions may be asked and priority may be given to questions asked in advance.  Asking a question in advance may also enable a more detailed answer to be given and will enable the questioner to ask a supplementary question.  Any supplementary question must relate to the original question or the councillors reply.

To ask a question in advance, please send the question to us at least 7 clear working days before the date of the meeting (there is a list of deadline dates below).  The question and the name of the questioner will be printed with the agenda in the order they were received and published on the Council's website in advance of the meeting. The question, the name of the questioner and the reply given will also be included in the Council minutes and published on the Council's website.

Advanced questions can be emailed to jonathan.moore@islington.gov.uk or democracy@islington.gov.uk or sent by post to Town Hall, Upper Street, London, N1 2UD.

A question may be rejected if it:

(a) is not about a matter for which the Council has a responsibility or which affects the area;
(b) is defamatory, frivolous or offensive;
(c) is substantially the same as a question asked within the last six months;
(d) requests the disclosure of information which is confidential or exempt; or
(e) names, or clearly identifies, a member of staff or any other individual.

If a reply cannot conveniently be given orally, the time allocated for questions has elapsed or the questioner is not present in the chamber, a written reply will be sent, providing contact information has been provided.

Once all the questions asked in advance have been completed, the Mayor will open the meeting to questions from the floor. Members of the public, who have not already asked a question, may ask one question of the Leader, another member of the Executive or the Chair of any scrutiny committee and one supplementary question which must relate to the original question or the reply. A member of staff will take the names of those wishing to ask questions and pass these to the Mayor so he can call people forward by name.  There is a time limit of two minutes to ask a question and the Mayor will determine the order in which questions are asked.

The question, the name of the questioner and the reply given will be included in the Council minutes and published on the Council's website.

The councillor may decline to answer any question which:

is not about a matter for which the Council has a responsibility or which affects the area;
(b) is defamatory, frivolous or offensive;
(c) is substantially the same as a question asked within the last six months;
(d) requests the disclosure of information which is confidential or exempt; or
(e) names, or clearly identifies, a member of staff or any other individual.

Deadlines for the submission of advance questions for full Council

Date of meeting

Deadline (2 pm)

29 June 2017 Monday 19 June 2017
21 September 2017 Monday 11 September 2017
7 December 2017 Monday 27 November 2017


Filming, recording and broadcasting meetings

Providing that no disruption is caused and that other people are not obstructed from observing and participating in the meeting, the press and members of the public are welcome to film, photograph or record decision making in action at any council meeting that is open to the public and to use social media tools, such as Twitter.

However, we request that other members of the public are not filmed or recorded, unless they are speaking or actively participating in the meeting and to avoid disruption to meetings, flash photography, additional lighting or large equipment are not permitted, unless agreed in advance.

Should filming, recording or using social media become disruptive, the council's constitution provides for the removal of a member of the public from a meeting should that person, having been warned, continue to interrupt proceedings.

Any person or organisation choosing to film, record or broadcast any meeting of the Council, its Cabinet or committees is responsible for any claims or other liability resulting from them so doing and by choosing to film, record or broadcast proceedings they accept that they are required to indemnify the Council, its members and officers in relation to any such claims or liabilities.