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Public participation

Speak at a meeting

Face to face council meetings are required to start again from 7 May 2021.  Meetings will be open to the public but, due to social distancing requirements, numbers will be restricted. 

If you wish to attend a meeting please contact us before the meeting to reserve your place. You are still entitled to ask questions at some meetings.  Please see for further details.

You must contact us to ask to attend a meeting by either:

Anyone who has any symptoms of Covid-19 and has reserved a place should not attend the meeting and follow the Governments self-isolation guidance.

Speak at full council meetings

The Forest of Dean District Council believes it is important to encourage all people to become actively involved in what their council does.

Local people can address the cabinet committees or the council about a particular issue. You will need to submit your question in writing by 4pm on the Monday of the week the meeting takes place.

Speak at Planning Committee

Members of the public may speak at planning committees. The committee usually meet at 2pm on the second Tuesday of each month in the council chamber. The list of applications is published five days in advance of each meeting. Requests must be submitted before 12pm on the day before the meeting. It is essential that anyone speaking at a planning committee follows the protocol:

Scrutiny Committee

The Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee influences decisions by looking at issues included on the Cabinet work programme (the forward plan), examining local concerns and reviewing policy. It can also check what the Cabinet is doing and can challenge its decisions. 

If you would like the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider an issue email democratic.services@fdean.gov.uk, fill in an our online form or call 01594 810000.

View details of council meetings

On our council meetings and minutes page you can find the dates of meetings, membership of the Cabinet and Committees, and view agendas and reports for meetings.

Petition scheme

The Council welcomes petitions from those who live, work, or study in the Forest of Dean and recognises that petitions are one way in which people can let us know their concerns or the strength of public feeling.

All petitions sent or presented to the council will receive an acknowledgement from the council within 10 working days of receipt. This acknowledgement will set out what we plan to do with the petition. We will treat something as a petition if it is identified as being a petition, or if it seems to us that it is intended to be a petition.

Submit a petition

Petitions submitted to the council must include:

  • a clear and concise statement covering the subject of the petition. It should state what action the petitioners wish the council to take.
  • the name and address and signature of any person supporting the petition, which must be not fewer than 10 persons.

Petitions should be accompanied by contact details, including an address, for the petition organiser. This is the person we will contact to explain how we will respond to the petition. If the petition does not identify a petition organiser, we will contact signatories to the petition to agree who should act as the petition organiser.

View our petition scheme which contains further information about submitting petitions and what will happen after you have done so, as well as some matters which are excluded from the scheme, by law.

Details of petitions received and of the council's response are available to view:

Please send paper petitions to: Democratic Services, Forest of Dean District Council, High Street, Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 8HG

Submit a petition online

An e-petition can also be submitted online, allowing you to reach a wider audience. Once approved, you will be able to log in, view and monitor your petition, they must follow the same guidelines as paper petitions.

Submit or view an e-petition

Present a petition to a council meeting

You can also present a petition at a council meeting or make a request for a councillor or representative to present it on your behalf. You will need to contact the democratic services team at least 10 days before the meeting, which take place six times per year.

Find council meetings

If your petition has received 800 or more signatures it will also be scheduled for a council debate at Full Council, either at the same meeting or at a later date.

For more information email democratic.services@fdean.gov.uk or call 01594 812625.

Verification number for a constitutional change

Regulations made under the Local Government Act 2000 require every local authority to publish a verification number which is equal to five percent of the local government electorate on 15 February every year.

This figure represents the number of signatures needed on a petition to hold a referendum to decide whether the authority's political structure should be subject to a constitutional change to operate a mayor and cabinet executive or the committee system.