Questions by the public to Full Council
Members of the public can ask questions at Full Council committee meetings. The process for this is outlined below. Contact us if you have any queries or are unsure of the process.
Rule no.15 - questions by the public
15.1* Members of the public resident in the District may submit questions to Council at Council meetings in accordance with the following procedure:
- notice of a question shall be given to the Chief Executive (or an appropriate officer) in writing or by electronic mail not later than noon on the day eight days before the date of the Council meeting
- when submitting a question the questioner must provider their full name and address
- the question (unless rejected under Rule No 15.4) shall be published with the summons for the meeting
- each question shall be taken as read and the relevant Member will be invited to reply
- the relevant Member may give an oral or written reply, unless a full reply cannot be given, but in any case a written reply will be sent to the questioner as soon as practicable after the meeting, in addition to the responses to all questions being published as an appendix to the minutes for the meeting
- if the questioner is in attendance at the meeting they will be entitled to ask a single supplementary question provided that it is relevant to the subject matter of the original question
- there will be no discussion of the answers given
- if considered expedient the relevant Member will circulate a written reply to any question at the meeting which will be taken as read
15.2* Every question shall be relevant to matters in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the area or the residents of the area.
15.3* Questions shall be asked in the order in which they are received, except that the Chairman may group together similar questions.
15.4* The Chief Executive shall not accept a question if it is considered that it:
- is not about a matter for which the Council has a responsibility or which affects the area or the residents of the area
- is frivolous, defamatory, vexatious or offensive
- is substantially the same as a question which has been put at a meeting of the Council in the previous 6 months
- requires the disclosure of confidential or exempt information when being answered
15.5* A period not exceeding thirty minutes shall be allocated at each Council meeting for questions by the public and questions from Members of the Council (under Rule 14) and no further questions shall be put once that time period has expired, save that a minimum of 15 minutes will be reserved for questions by the public.
15.6* Questions which have not been answered within the period referred to in 15.5 shall be referred to the relevant Member who shall arrange for a written reply to be sent to the questioner as soon as practicable with a copy to all Members of the Council.
15.7* At any one meeting no person shall submit more than one question and no more than one question may be asked on behalf of one organisation provided that the Chairman may, in exceptional circumstances, waive this rule.
15.8* When a question is submitted in accordance with this Rule, significantly in advance of the deadline for submission, the Chief Executive will determine if it is more expedient to respond in writing if it is considered the question should not wait until the next scheduled Council Meeting.