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A Guide to Public Questions at Council Meetings


Members of the public are able to come along to the Council Meetings and 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.


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 family;
  • 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 information;

Once you have met the question criteria.


Submit the question in writing to the Chief Executive before 5pm 3 clear working days before the Council meeting.  Questions can be submitted to


Your question and its content will be recorded in a register in the order they are received.  The Register is available to the members of the public for viewing before the Council meeting;

Once you have submitted a question, the Chief Executive will write to you and confirm:

  1. Whether or not the question is valid and complies;
  2. The date, time and place of the meeting at which the question can be asked;
  3. The procedure for asking the question and receiving an answer;
  4. Your position in a list of people who wish to ask a question

Meeting Protocol


You should arrive 10-15 minutes before the start of the meeting and make yourself known to the Democratic Services Officer present who will show you where you may stand to address the Council.


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 following:

  • 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 meeting;
  • The Mayor will nominate which Councillor will respond to your question.

Where and when?


View details of Council meetings here