As an open and transparent local authority, Sandwell Council welcomes public attendance at Council meetings. 

However, it is important to note that Council meetings are not public meetings, they are Council meetings held in public, unless confidential information is likely to be disclosed, in which case the public and press will be excluded during the consideration of those items of business (see section below - Public Exclusion from Council Meetings). 

Members of the public do not therefore have an automatic right to speak at Council meetings and speaking is at the discretion of the Chair.  Different procedures apply to different types of meetings so please refer to our Constitution for further information.  You can find information about the variety of meetings on our committee event calendar, you can also search for meetings by committee

Public Exclusion from Council Meetings

In accordance with the provisions of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public may be excluded from some council meetings. Exclusion of the public will occur, if there is an item of business containing exempt information. The Act defines exempt information as: 

  • Information relating to any individual.
  • Information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.

  • Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

  • Information relating to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated consultations or negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter arising between the authority or a Minister of the Crown and employees of, or office holders under, the authority.

  • Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

  • Information which reveals that the authority proposes

    • to give under any enactment a notice under or by virtue of which requirements are imposed on a person; or

    • to make an order or direction under any enactment.

  • Information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime.

The meeting agenda page will tell you if the meeting or part of the meeting excludes the public.  However, at any time during any meeting open to the public, if the Chair feels that exempt information may be disclosed during the course of proceedings, they may move a motion to exclude the public from that part of the meeting.

Seating at Council Meetings

Members of the public will be seated in the public gallery.  Seating in the public gallery is limited to 24 people.  You may be required to pre-register to attend a meeting.  Please refer to the relevant meeting page for further information.  Otherwise seating will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. 

Security operatives will ensure that occupancy and capacity limits are continually monitored throughout the meeting.


If you are attending the meeting and require assistance to access the venue, please contact Democratic Services (


Toilet facilities are available on site and are subject to safety measures that are in place. 

Etiquette of Attending a Council Meeting:

Anyone attending a Council meeting must not disrupt proceedings.  If the Chair of the meeting is of the view that a member or members of the public are disrupting proceedings, or in the event of a general disturbance at any meeting, those individuals may be removed from the meeting.

At all times you must:

  • follow any instructions given to you by any council officers or security guard(s) present
  • remain seated during the meeting, unless asked to stand by the Chair/Mayor as part of the proceedings
  • remain quiet, do not talk amongst yourselves
  • turn your mobile phone off or onto silent mode.

Do not:

  • attempt to address any Councillors during the meeting, or interrupt proceedings in any other way – e.g. chanting, shouting, booing, clapping
  • wave flags, banners, or any other notices/signs up during the meeting
  • record or photograph anyone else in the Public Gallery
  • record or photograph any members of staff
  • eat, smoke, or vape during the meeting.
Failure to adhere to these rules may result in your removal from the Public Gallery.

Watching Council Meetings Online

Watch council meetings

We webcast some public council meetings that you can watch live. You can find a list of meetings on the Council’s committee calendar.

If you are able to view online, please consider this option first to help us manage public access.

You can also watch previous meetings of both Full Council and Cabinet on demand by using our archives.

Watch Council Meetings