A Guide to Public
Questions at Council Meetings
Members of the public are able to ask the
Council a question on a topic within the Council's control. A
total of 30 minutes is allocated at the Council meeting for
the public questions.
It is the intention of the Borough Council of
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk to hold Council meetings for the
foreseeable future as online meetings, using the Zoom video
conferencing system. If you wish to view the meeting you can do so
by accessing www.youtube.com/WestNorfolkBC.
Since the introduction of restrictions on gatherings
of people by the Government in March 2020, it has not been possible
to hold standard face to face public meetings at the Council
offices. This led to a temporary suspension of meetings. The
Coronavirus Act 2020 has now been implemented and in Regulations
made under Section 78, it gives Local Authorities the power to hold
meetings without it being necessary for any of the participants to
be present together in the same room.
What will you need to do?
Questions to Council will be permitted if
they meet the following criteria:
Questions must relate to:
The Councils Policies;
The work of the Council in respect of any
matter or issue affecting the Borough.
Questions relating to the following will
not be allowed:
The questioner personally or their
Any specific planning applications for
planning permission or any licenses;
Any Councillor or Officer of the Council
or any member of the public;
Any defamatory confidential or exempt
Once you have met the question
Submit the question in writing to the
Chief Executive before 5pm 3 clear working days before the Council
meeting. Questions can be submitted
Your question and its content will be
recorded in a register in the order they are
Once you have submitted a question, the
Chief Executive will write to you and confirm:
Whether or not the question is valid and
The date, time and place of the meeting
at which the question can be asked;
The procedure for asking the question and
receiving an answer;
Your position in a list of people who
wish to ask a question
When submitting your question you will also need to
provide the following information to email@example.com
This is to ensure that we know who you are and we can
admit you to the meeting.
You will be asking your question remotely via the
Zoom video conferencing system and will receive an email confirming
that you are registered to speak along with the relevant details to
access the meeting. Please ensure that you can access Zoom and have
set up an account if necessary. You can choose to speak being
either seen and heard, or just heard and we would also ask that you
submit a written representation in case of any issues with the
software. If you do not wish to speak via a remote link, please let
us know, and you can submit a written representation, which will be
read out at the meeting.
Information on how to set up and join a Zoom meeting is available
Join the meeting early, you will remain in the
waiting room and will be let in once it is time for you to ask your
question. Once you question has been
dealt with you will be removed from the Zoom meeting, however you
can continue to watch the Council meeting on the WestNorfolkBC You Tube channel.
If you submit a question, you may pose
the question to the Council yourself or you can ask a friend to do
so for you.
You may also ask a supplementary question
after your original question has been answered but the response and
the time taken to ask the supplementary question shall not exceed a
total of 5 minutes.
The Council will not be able to debate
the question or its answer at that meeting.
You should address your question to the
Mayor and it will be answered by any Councillor or officer of the
Council nominated by the Mayor.
A reply may be one of the
A direct oral response;
In exceptional circumstances, a written
reply can be given. If this does happen then the Mayor will
explain why an oral response is inconvenient and the reasons for
this, which will be minuted. A
written response shall be received within 7 days of the
The Mayor will nominate which Councillor
will respond to your question.
Where and when?
View details of Council meetings here