Formal meetings of the Authority, and any of its Committees are open to the public. An individual elector or a group of electors wishing to speak at a meeting is called a deputation.
Although you cannot take part in debates and discussions at meetings, you can ask to make a deputation on any business that is properly within its terms of reference and the deputation shall (subject to the formal agreement of members) be allowed to address the meeting.
Who can ask to make a deputation at a meeting?
Anyone who is on the Electoral Register in the area of the Authority can apply. If you are uncertain whether you are on the register or not, you can check with your local district council. You can make a deputation on your own or as part of a group. A deputation can comprise up to 4 people and each of them may take part.
How often can you make a deputation?
No deputation shall appear before the Authority at successive meetings or at any Committee within 6 months of any previous appearance, on the same or similar topic.
What happens at the meeting?
Up to 1 hour is allowed at each meeting for deputations. The maximum time allowed for each deputation is 10 minutes. This means that if there are up to 4 people comprising the deputation, you will need to agree between yourselves how to share the 10 minutes. Deputations will normally be heard at the beginning of the meeting (after the minutes). You will be asked to make your points in the allotted time. You can stay at the meeting after you have made your deputation but you may not take part in the discussion. If the meeting is in the Council Chamber at Eastleigh Borough Council, seats are available in the public seating area. In other meeting rooms at the Fire and Rescue Service HQ, seating will be set aside for the public.
The rules which apply to deputations are set out in the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority Standing Orders however, situations may arise whereby, with the permission of the Authority or Committee on the day some flexibility can be given to overcome any problems which may arise with a particularly large number of deputations at the meeting.
How to find out about meetings
Agendas for the Authority and its Committee meetings are published in advance and are normally available one week before each meeting on the Fire and Rescue Service website.
Applying to make a deputation
You can either complete the online deputation form, or write to :
The Clerk to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority
c/o Chief Executive’s Department
Hampshire County Council
Telephone Number : 01962 847356
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Your request must reach the Clerk to the Fire Authority by noon 2 clear days beforehand if you want to address a meeting of the Authority or any of its Committees. It is, however, helpful to notify the Clerk in time for when the agenda papers are despatched which is normally 6 clear working days before the date of the meeting.