A deputation procedure grants a group or organisation the power to speak at a committee or council meeting if they have a strong view on an outcome, which differs from that recommended in a report.
The process allows Councillors to hear at first hand the views of people who may be affected by a decision they are about to make.
A number of Scottish local authorities already have a process for hearing deputations in place including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee.
Following the decision, a new procedure for deputations will be developed and the Council’s Standing Orders and Scheme of Delegation will be amended. Councillors agreed that the Chief Officer – Governance would bring a full proposal on a deputation procedure to a future meeting of the Council for consideration.
Proposals to be developed
Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Scott Farmer said: “We are committed to ensuring communities’ views are heard and they are fully engaged in the democratic process.
“Our aim is to make Stirling Council as accessible as possible so we can meet the needs of communities and provide them with high-quality services, and I’m pleased there was widespread support to develop these proposals for further consideration.”
Lodged at the end of January, the petition received the required number of valid signatories as of 25 March, with support from St Ninian’s Community Council.
The petition stated that ‘a deputation policy would offer a much more straight forward and accessible pathway for local democratic engagement’.
Views of the public heard
Depute Leader, Cllr Chris Kane said: “Our petitions process is one of the most modern across Scotland’s Councils and allows people, groups and organisations to raise issues of concern and give us the opportunity to consider change.
“Our response to this petition shows that we listen and take account of the views of the public, and deputations will be another valuable tool to ensure easier access to democracy for the people of Stirling, allowing communities to participate fully in the decision-making process.”