As a resident of Oldham, you are welcome to attend Council meetings except when confidential information is being discussed.

You do not have to attend the full meeting and can leave, without causing a disturbance, whenever you choose to.

Meeting agendas are available on the Oldham Council website a week before each meeting and will make clear if the public is not to attend for any reason.

Who attends and speaks at a Council meeting?

Council meetings are chaired by the presiding Mayor of Oldham or his/her deputy. They are attended by all elected councillors to make decisions about the Council’s budget, policies and key priorities.

Each meeting follows a set agenda to which elected representatives speak to particular items listed.

Other attendees include members of the public, non-elected Members, employees, partners and visitors. These attendees can only speak if agreed in advance as part of the agenda and by invitation from the Chair.

Can residents be involved in Council meetings?

Full Council meetings are not an open forum.

You cannot ask questions on the night or make statements from the public gallery or any other section of the Council Chamber.

Public questions can only be facilitated through submission of questions in advance. Questions must be submitted before 12noon the day before the meeting and must not exceed 100 words.

The questions will then be answered in the order they are received.

There is limited time of 15 minutes on the agenda for public questions. Any questions not answered at the meeting will be responded to by email.

Keeping everyone safe

We have a commitment to host each meeting in an environment that is welcoming, secure and safe for all attendees.

Everyone present at meetings should be treated with courtesy and respect.

Behaviours, language or actions that impact public safety, cause disruption and/or delays to meetings are not acceptable.

To maintain this safe environment those attending must:

  • provide their name, address and photographic id 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
  • follow the instructions of Council employees or security staff to leave the building when required to do so
  • ensure any filming is done as discreetly as possible, focusing only on those actively participating in the meeting and respecting 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 or other visitors
  • cause a disturbance which hinders the safety of any attendees
  •  speak or interfere with the meeting without permission from the Chair
  • congregate in the building and/or obstruct thoroughfares, emergency routes and access points that would compromise the safety of people in the event of an emergency
  • enter, or attempt to enter, restricted or non-public areas of the building
  • wilfully cause damage to any Council property, deface or spoil Council property and/or interfere with Council property in any way

The safety of all attendees at public meetings is our number one priority and we reserve the right to remove or restrict access to anyone engaging in unacceptable behaviour. 

We also reserve 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 Council meetings a safe, courteous and respectful environment for all involved.