Committee details


Purpose of committee

Asking a question at Council


Members of the public may ask questions of members of the Cabinet and Chairmen of the Council’s committees and other standing bodies at ordinary meetings of the Council.


Notice of questions

A question may only be asked if notice has been given by delivering it in writing or by electronic mail to the Chief Executive no later than noon, 7 clear working days before the day of the meeting. A clear working day is any day Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) and not including the day of receipt and the day of the meeting. Each question must give the name and address of the questioner and must name the member of the Council to whom it is to be put.


Number of questions

At any one meeting no person may submit more than 2 questions and no more than 2 such questions may be asked on behalf of one organisation. A maximum  of 4 questions in any local government year may be submitted by any person or on behalf of an organisation or business.


Scope of questions

The Chief Executive in consultation with the Chairman of the Council may reject a question if it:

·        is not about a matter for which the local authority has a responsibility or which affects the district;

·        is defamatory, frivolous or offensive;

·        Is substantially the same as a question which has been put at a meeting of the Council in the past six months;

·        Requires the disclosure of confidential or exempt information;

·        Relates to judicial/quasi-judicial items, planning and licensing applications  or appeals,

·        Names Officers or Members by name, and/or alleged breaches of the  Members’ Code of Conduct which are subject to or may be subject to  investigation; or

·        Relates to an ongoing complaint to the Council, either at Stage 1 or 2, or a complaint that is currently subject to investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman or a complaint which has been concluded either at Stage 1 or 2 or via the Local Government Ombudsman.

·        is substantially the same as a question which has been put at a meeting of the Council in the past six months; or

·        requires the disclosure of confidential or exempt information


Order of questions

Questions will be asked in the order determined by the Chief Executive acting in  conjunction with the Monitoring Officer. The Chairman may group together similar  questions. Not question or answer may exceed 5 minutes without the permission of the Chairman and the totality of questions and answers may not extend beyond 15 minutes without the consent of the Chairman of Council.


Asking the question at the meeting

The Chairman will invite the questioner to put the question to the member named in the notice. If a questioner who has submitted a written question is unable to be present, he/she may ask the Chairman to put the question on his/her behalf.

The Chairman may ask the question on the questioner’s behalf, indicate that a written reply will given or decide, in the absence of the questioner, that the question will not be dealt with.


Written answers

Any question which cannot be dealt with during public question time, either because of lack of time or because of the non-attendance of the member to whom it was to be put, will be dealt with by a written answer. A copy of the written answer will be provided to all members




Contact information

Support officer: Cara Hopkinson.

Phone: 01909 533252