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Virtual meetings – rules and etiquette

General principles of Council Meetings and Committees

(Extracted from the Chichester City Council Standing Orders)

The PDF of this page can be downloaded here: Chichester City Council virtual meetings – rules and etiquette – June 2021

LINK – Chichester City Council Code of Conduct – February 2021

  • Members of the public are permitted to attend all Council and Committee meetings with the exception of Agenda items specifically highlighted as confidential due to the matters being discussed – e.g. Personnel or confidential business matters. These items are clearly stated on the Agenda.
  • Members of the public are permitted to make representations, answer questions and give evidence in regard to Agenda items. The time available for this is subject to the Chairman’s discretion.
  • Each member of the public is permitted to speak once only and for no more than three minutes.
  • A question asked by the public shall not require a response or a debate.
  • The Chairman may direct that a response to a question from the public be referred to the Town Clerk or a Councillor for an oral response, or a written response in the case of the Town Clerk.
  • A member of the public should raise their hands when requesting to speak and wait for a response from the Chairman.
  • Comments and questions from the public should be addressed to the Chairman.
  • Only one person is permitted to speak at a time. The Chairman shall direct the order of speaking.
  • ONLY matters that are included in the meeting Agenda may be discussed at that meeting.

Additional principles applied to virtual meetings

  • Meeting links and passwords will not be published openly – those interested in attending should contact the City Council for more information.
  • Meeting links and passwords should NOT be distributed by anyone other than City Council Officers.
  • All attendees are subject to the terms outlined in this document and Chichester City Council’s Standing Orders.
  • Those attending will be initially placed in a waiting room. The City Council host will then admit them to the meeting in order of arrival.
  • Late attendees will only be admitted if the business being conducted at the time is in public session.
  • The City Council will record all Meetings – recordings will be held in accordance with the City Council Data Protection and Privacy policy. Public sessions of recorded meetings will be published on the City Council’s website after the meeting.
  • The following Zoom features will be disabled:
    1. Screen sharing – only the host will be permitted to screen share for the purpose of in meeting presentations
    2. Whiteboard
    3. Annotations
    4. File transfer
    5. One-to-one private text chat
    6. Personalising attendee backgrounds.
  • All microphones will be muted and only enabled by the Chairman when a Councillor or member of the public wishes to speak to an Agenda item.
  • Attendees are asked to be courteous at all times.
  • Attendees are asked to be mindful of what is happening in their surroundings to prevent unnecessary noise or background activity from detracting from the meeting.
  • Attendees wishing to speak should raise their hand until the Chairman unmutes your microphone and asks you to speak.
  • Attendees creating inappropriate disruption may be removed from the meeting at the discretion of the Chairman. Once removed, re-entry to the meeting will not be permitted.
  • In exceptional circumstances, disruptive users may be reported to Zoom and/or the appropriate authorities for further investigation and/or action.
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