Attending Council meetings | Oldham Council

Public Attendance at Council and Committee Meetings 

We have a commitment to deliver services in an environment that is welcoming, secure and safe for members of the public, Elected Members, employees and visitors. There is no requirement in law to provide a public forum; however, meetings in Oldham are open to the public except when confidential information is being discussed. 

As the Council meets and makes its decisions in public and is committed to community engagement, openness and transparency, we warmly invite members of the public to contribute during public question time.

The Council recognises the importance of providing opportunities for the lawful expression of views. Residents are encouraged to attend meetings and where active public participation is part of a meeting, residents will be able to speak and be listened to.


It is important that meetings are conducted in a safe and fair manner. All persons present at meetings should be treated with courtesy and respect. This includes members of the public, Elected Members, employees and visitors. 

Behaviours, language or actions that impact public safety, cause disruption and/or adjournment to the course of business at meetings are not acceptable.

To maintain this safe environment those attending must: 

  • provide their name, address and photograph identity to Council employees and security staff; 
  • allow the inspection of personal bags and storage of those bags for the duration of the meeting by Council employees or security staff; and 
  • follow the instructions of Council employees or security staff to leave the building when required or ordered to do so; 
  • ensure any filming is done as unobtrusively as possible, focusing only on those actively participating in the meeting and having regard to the wishes of any members of the public present, who may not wish to be filmed. 

Those attending must not: 

  • use foul, abusive, threatening, intimidating or discriminatory language or behaviour towards Council Members, employees, attendees and visitors; 
  • harass and/or bully Elected Members, employees, attendees and visitors; 
  • engage in disorderly conduct such as causing a disturbance, shouting, causing a nuisance to Elected Members, employees, attendees and/or visitors and any other actions which hinder the day-to-day business of the Council; 
  • congregate in the building and/or obstruct thoroughfares, emergency routes and access points and otherwise hindering the day-to-day business of the Council; or cause obstruction that would compromise the safety of people in the event of an emergency 
  • enter or attempt to enter restricted and/or non-public areas of the building; or 
  • wilfully cause damage to any Council property, deface or spoil Council property and/or interfere with Council property in any way. 

Entry to meetings and Council buildings is by consent and the Council reserves the right to remove any person/s from its property and to take the necessary action to prevent any person/s from entering its buildings and property, or re-entering a public meeting if they engage in unacceptable behaviour. 

The Council also reserves the right to make a formal complaint to the Police and to take legal action against anyone who abuses this policy. 

We thank you for your support in keeping our democratic processes safe, courteous and respectful for all involved.