Public questions at council meetings

At each Ordinary meeting of the Council a period of 15 minutes will be allocated for public questions. Questions can be asked of The Leader and Cabinet Members. There is a deadline set for the receipt of questions for each meeting, the table below sets out the dates of meetings for 2019/20 and the latest time for receipt of questions for that meeting.

Deadlines for submission of public questions to meetings of the Council
Date of council meeting Deadline to submit questions
Thursday 25 July 2019 5pm on Monday 15 July 2019
Thursday 19 September 2019 5pm on Monday 9 September 2019
Thursday 21 November 2019 5pm on Monday 11 November 2019
Thursday 23 January 2020 5pm on Monday 13 January 2020
Thursday 5 March 2020 5pm on Monday 24 February 2020

Who can ask questions?

  • anyone who lives, works, owns/leases land or is being educated in the borough
  • you may only ask one question per meeting
  • no more than one question can be asked on behalf of a group or organisation
  • questions will be asked in the order they were received
  • a maximum of 2 minutes is allowed for each question and answer
  • questions should be clear and concise (no more than 50 words).

Answers will be given verbally. In cases where more information is required a written answer will be provided.

As there is a limited time for questions it is possible that not all valid questions will be able to be read out and answered at the meeting.

At the end of the 15 minute period, or after the reply to the final question, whichever occurs first, the Council will proceed to the next business. Any submitted questions not read out during the 15 minute period will receive a written reply.

Submitting your question

  • questions must be delivered in writing, or sent by email to Democratic Services
  • you can ask no more than one question per meeting
  • no more than one question can be asked on behalf of a group or organisation.

You will be expected to attend the meeting in order to put your question. If you are unable to attend, the Mayor may, at his discretion, put the question on your behalf.

When submitting your question (no more than 50 words) please include the following information:

  • the date of the meeting at which you want to ask your question
  • your name, address and a contact telephone number
  • your email address.

Scope of questions

  • your question must refer to an issue which affects the borough or falls within the Council's responsibilities
  • your question must be directed to the Leader of the Council or a Member of the Cabinet
  • your question must not be in furtherance of your own particular circumstances
  • your question must not be substantially the same as a question which has been put at a Council meeting in the past 6 months
  • your question must not relate to an individual or personal dealings with the Council
  • your question must not be derogatory, defamatory, frivolous, vexatious or offensive - there is no legal protection for comments made at meetings
  • your question must not require the disclosure of confidential or exempt information
  • your question must not refer to individual planning or licensing matters or any matter where there is a right of appeal to the courts, tribunal or to a Government Minister
  • you may not ask a question about the service conditions of any person employed by the Council.

What happens at the meeting?

Copies of all valid questions received will be made available to those present at the meeting.

The Mayor will refer to the list of valid questions and will ask in turn each member of the public to stand and ask their question. If you do not wish to read your question out yourself you may ask that it be read out on your behalf.

When reading the question you must not deviate from the text of the question that you have submitted.

Your question may be directed to the Leader of the Council or to the relevant Cabinet Member.

Unless the Mayor decides otherwise, there will be no discussion or debate on any question or answer.

Please note: that meetings of the Full Council are broadcast live to the internet and will be capable of subsequent repeated viewing. Due to the layout of the room, we cannot guarantee that the public gallery will not be within the coverage area of the webcasting equipment. By using the public seating area and/or asking a question, you will be consenting to being filmed.

Last updated: 11.45am on Thursday 7 March 2019

  1. Introduction
  2. Where to send your question