Asking a question at a committee meeting
Public question time
You can ask questions or make a statement during public question time.
We set aside a period of 30 minutes for public question time at each committee meeting. We usually list participants for public questions in the order of registration. However, we reserve the right to re-order the registered speakers to manage the meeting.
We give three minutes of public question time for each Registered Speaker to ask their question or to make their statement. Registered Speakers may not ask supplementary questions.
If you want to take part in public question time you need to register with our Governance and Members team by phone or email.
Registered Speaker may attend public question time in person or virtually. Upon registration Registered Speakers are asked to indicate if they wish to attend in person or virtually. Those Registered Speakers who have indicated upon registration that they wish to attend the meeting virtually will receive a meeting invitation to access the meeting.
Registration for public question time is on a first-come, first-served basis. When you register you will need to give:
- your name
- contact details
- the subject matter on which you wish to ask a question or make a statement
We need this information to:
- manage the meeting
- if necessary to contact you about the meeting
The latest time you can register to ask a question is midday on the second working day before the day of the Committee meeting.
For example, if we are holding the Committee meeting on a Tuesday, you must register by midday on Friday. If there is a bank holiday Monday you will need to register by midday on the previous Thursday.
If you register after the deadline, we reserve the right to decline your request.
Questions you can ask
You can ask a question or make a statement on any matter of local concern, whether it is on the day's Agenda or not.
The Chairman of the Committee meeting has the right to over-rule questions or statements which:
- are a repeat of ones made earlier
- are defamatory, frivolous, vexatious or offensive
- substantially the same as a question put to a meeting in the previous 6 months
- will require the disclosure of confidential or exempt information
- already subject to separate appeal, adjudication, litigation, mediation or dispute resolution
Answering your question
If the Committee can answer the question there and then, they will. If not, they will send a written reply within five working days of the meeting.
We can't committ to a course of action from one question and answer. That wouldn't be democratic and we have to follow established procedures when deciding on action or policies.
Start time of public meetings
Most of our committee meetings start at 7.15pm. You should check the agenda before the meeting to make sure you know the scheduled start time.
We publish the agendas and reports for committees at least five working days before the meeting.
Submitting information to a Committee
An officer's report supports all matters the committee meeting is considering. The report includes all relevant information.
We cannot support presentations by members of the public during the meeting.
If there is extra information which you would like to bring to the attention of the committee, you can email it directly to:
- the members of the committee
- the relevant Officer
- the Governance and Members team
You should email the extra information to all these at the same time.
You can find the email addresses for Committee Members on the councillors section of our website.
You can find details of the relevant Officer in the committee reports published with the agenda.
Do not send extra information immediately before a meeting.
To give officers and committee members enough time to see it, you should send extra information at least 24 hours before the meeting. You should allow more time if there is a bank holiday or weekend before the meeting