Take part in the democratic process

Information on how to participate in the democratic process, including submitting petitions and deputation to meetings.

How you can have your say

We want to encourage residents to participate as much as possible in the democratic process - below are several ways you can do this.


We have a petitions scheme (pdf 119KB) which tells you how to submit a petition and what we'll do when we receive it.

We're happy to receive petitions from people who live, work, or study in the borough. You can petition the Council by:

  • sending in a completed paper petition form (docx 51KB) by post to the Petitions Officer, Governance and Scrutiny, Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, London W6 9JU or by email to governance@lbhf.gov.uk
  • using our ePetitions portal you can submit a new petition or join an existing petition online. If you sign an online petition only your name will appear on the website. You can also browse all of the petitions we have received (both online and on paper).

The table below shows what will happen if your petition is valid, depending on the number of people signing the petition.

What happens to your petition
Minimum number of signatories Type of petition Decision maker
5,000 Council debate The Full Council
2,000 Calling a director to give evidence Policy and Accountability Committee
250 Cabinet debate The Cabinet
100 Petitions to Cabinet Members The relevant Cabinet Member
Below 100 Officer petition The relevant officer, in consultation with the appropriate Cabinet Member

The person organising the petition, or their representative, will be able to address a meeting about the subject of a petition for five minutes, and will also have the opportunity to answer any questions.


A deputation is when a group of borough residents (up to 10) attend a meeting of the Cabinet or a Policy and Accountability Committee to give their views on a matter which is on the meeting agenda. The deputation leader has the opportunity to address the meeting for a period of five minutes and to answer any questions.

The subjects which the Cabinet or Policy and Accountability Committee is due to consider are listed on the meeting agenda.

Decisions which the Cabinet is due to take are in the key decision list.

If you want to organise a deputation, please see our deputation request form. This form should be signed by at least 10 registered Hammersmith and Fulham electors and returned to the contact officer on the front of the relevant agenda. The deadline for deputations is three working days before a meeting takes place.

Public questions to Full Council

A member of the public who lives, works, or is being educated in the borough may ask the Leader or a Cabinet Member one question (and one supplementary on their reply) on any matter relating to the discharge of the council's functions.

The question must be in writing, submitted to the Monitoring Officer at least seven clear working days (no later than 12 noon) before the day of the council meeting, with a relevant address in the borough indicating whether you live, work or are being educated in the borough. If your question has not met the criteria and timescale, it will not be answered.

Questions which, in the opinion of the Mayor, are defamatory or unsuitable in form, frivolous or derogatory will not be accepted.

Replies to questions will be oral. If the questioner is not present when the question is called at the meeting, a written reply shall be provided. However, persons questioned may decline to reply, if in their opinion, questions involve an excessive and unnecessary amount of time on the part of officers in collating or preparing the information required.

If a question does not receive a reply within the time allowed for the public questions session, the Leader or Cabinet Member will provide a written reply to the questioner. All public questions and the reply given by the Leader or Cabinet Member will be recorded in the minutes.

Deadlines for public questions to Full Council 2023-24

  • Meeting on 12 July 2023 – deadline for public questions is 30 June at 12 noon.
  • Meeting on 1 November 2023 – deadline for public questions is 20 October at 12 noon.
  • Meeting on 24 January 2024 – deadline for public questions is 12 January at 12 noon.
  • Meeting on 26 February 2024 – deadline for public questions is 14 February at 12 noon.
  • 22 May 2024 is the Annual Council meeting so there are no public questions.

Public questions to Full Council can be submitted via this form: Public questions to Full Council.

Policy and Accountability Committees

Our policy and accountability committees encourage public participation. You can take part in a number of ways:

All policy and accountability committees are open to the public. You can find out more the meetings and how to get involved on our committee pages.

Co-opted members 
Members of the public can be appointed as co-opted members of a policy and accountability committee, subject to certain provisions.

Expert witnesses 
You may have local or special knowledge which would be of use to policy and accountability committees in their deliberations on specific topics. You could be invited to participate for discussion of this one item.

Select committee style inquiries 
From time to time, policy and accountability committees undertake these in-depth inquiries. They involve a great deal of data gathering. They are well publicised and if you have something to share, you are welcome to do so.

Other public meetings 
There are a number of other public meetings that you are welcome to attend, which include:

  • Full Council meetings where strategic plans and programmes are considered and approved, and public questions heard.
  • Planning and Development Control Committee where planning applications are considered. Only the applicant or their agent and people who have commented on the application in support or against will be permitted to speak at the meeting. They must have been registered to speak before addressing the committee. For further information, including how to register, please read our guide to public speaking at the Planning and Development Control Committee (pdf 66KB).
  • Licensing Sub-Committee which deals with pub and entertainment licences. Members of the public who have made a valid representation during the consultation period on an application have a right to address the committee. All members of the public are welcome to attend.

View details of all council committees.

For more information about any aspect of participating in the democratic process, please contact:

David Abbott 
Head of Governance 

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