How to get involved in local democracy
Local government needs local people. Residents can raise issues and get involved in local decision making in a variety of ways, not just by voting in elections.
Ask a public question
Any resident, councillor, business rate payer or local government elector of Lambeth Council can ask a 'public question' to make an enquiry or raise an issue.
These questions can be about any council service. If there is an issue you think is important or something you think the council is doing wrong, you may want to bring it to the attention of the council through a public question.
Public questions will generally be considered by an officer or a Scrutiny Committee or another Council Committee. The process for submitting questions is the same in all cases.
- You will receive a written answer to your question. You can then attend the committee meeting to speak to the councillors directly about it.
- Your question may lead to an investigation or review of the issue you raise, and could be very important for other residents affected by the same issue.
You can ask a public question using a method that suits you:
Questioners are also welcome to attend the meeting at which their question is considered.
Please download the public question process for full guidance on this process.
- Please note: the council has a separate complaints procedure to deal with individual casework or complaints.
Speak at a council or scrutiny committee meeting
If you wish to raise an issue in person at a council or scrutiny committee meeting and you can find 20 people who support you in this, you may arrange to attend and speak. This is called a deputation.
You can present petitions to full council, a councillor, the Chief Executive or the Mayor.
To set up a petition, you can use our printable petition template. You can also set up a petition online - see our petitions page.
On 15 June 2010 we launched a new way of working with petitions. Read about our petition scheme on Section 8 of our rules of procedure. This includes guidance on how to create, sign and submit petitions and how we will respond to petitions.
Check the Forward Plan
All key decisions (those which involve over £500,000 or significantly affect two or more wards) due to take place within the next four months are listed in the Forward Plan. You can check the plan and contact the relevant officer to put across your views.
Attend a public meeting
Check our online calendar of meetings to find out when your Town Centre Forum is meeting. You can also attend any of the council's other public meetings, including Scrutiny committee meetings.
Speak to your local councillor
There is a councillor for each ward in Lambeth. All ward councillors hold regular surgeries where you can meet with them to raise issues of concern or ask for advice on council services.
Respond to a consultation
We often consult the public before making important decisions. You can find full details of current consultations on our Lambeth First consultation tracker and give us your feedback or contact the relevant officer to make your views known.
Join the Youth Council
The Youth Council gives young people in the borough a voice on the issues that affect them. It has won an award from the Guardian/IPPR for Public Involvement.
Referendum for an alternative governance model for the Council
(The Local Authorities (Referendums)(Petitions)(England) Regulations 2011)
People have the right to ask for a referendum on changing the Council's political management arrangements - from our leader and cabinet model to either a mayor and cabinet arrangement or a committee system. Regulations under the Acts provide for a referendum to be held where at least 5% of local government electors so petition the Council. The Council is required to publish the number of electors that is equal to 5% of the number registered to vote at a local government election in Lambeth, as shown on the current Electoral Register.
This figure is:
This number will have effect for the purposes of determining the validity of petitions presented to the Council from 1 April 2012 until 31 March 2013.
Further advice may be sought from:
Governance & Democracy: Democracy@lambeth.gov.uk
Finance & Resources
Lambeth Town Hall
Become a councillor
You may stand for election as a councillor in the borough you live or work in. Elections for the council are held every four years.