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July 13th, 2014 |

Do You Want To Ask A Question?

question mark

The next full meeting of Rochford District Council is on July 29th at 7:30 p.m.

it’s worth reminding everyone that members of the public can ask questions. The questions have to be submitted in writing to the council by midday 7 days before the day of the meeting, though ypun should normally come along and read out your question in the flesh. You get an answer , and you are then allowed one follow-up question. Here are the rules in full:

10. QUESTIONS BY THE PUBLIC
10.1 General
Members of the public may ask questions of Members of the Executive, at ordinary meetings of the Council. The maximum time limit for asking each question is 3 minutes. The maximum time limit for a supplementary question is 1 minute.
10.2 Order of Questions
Questions will be asked in the order notice of them was received, except that the Chairman may group together similar questions.
10.3 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 midday 7 days before 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.
10.4 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.
10.5 Scope of Questions
The Chief Executive 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; or
 requires the disclosure of confidential or exempt information.
10.6 Record of Questions
The Chief Executive will enter each question in a book open to public inspection and will immediately send a copy of the question to the Member to whom it is to be put. Rejected questions will include reasons for rejection.
Copies of all questions will be circulated to all Members and will be made available to the public attending the meeting.
10.7 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, they may ask the Chairman to put the question on their behalf. The Chairman may ask the question on the questioner’s behalf, indicate that a written reply will be given or
decide, in the absence of the questioner, that the question will not be dealt with.
10.8 Supplemental Question
A questioner who has put a question in person may also put one supplementary question without notice to the Member who has replied to his or her original question.
A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or the reply. The Chairman may reject a supplementary question on any of the grounds in Rule 10.5 above.
10.9 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.
10.10 Reference of Question to the Executive or a Committee
Unless the Chairman decides otherwise, no discussion will take place on any question, but any Member may move that a matter raised by a question be referred to the Executive or the appropriate Committee or Sub-Committee. Once seconded, such a Motion will be voted on without discussion.

These rules are in part 4 of the Council Constitution, which you can download from the council website here.

6 Responses to “Do You Want To Ask A Question?”

  1. 1
    The Mighty Oz:

    Er, does anybody remember the campaign for plain English…you could not make it up…..

    A questioner who has put a question in person may also put one supplementary question without notice to the Member who has replied to his or her original question.
    A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or the reply. The Chairman may reject a supplementary question on any of the grounds in Rule 10.5 above.

  2. 2
    Jim Cripps:

    Chris – Can you confirm the correct/ full and up to date e-mail address of the chief executive to whom I have to apply to for my question , want to get it in in plenty of time.
    Oz – gobbledeegook or not I’m gonna give it a go.

  3. 3
    admin:

    Jim. The council website says ‘Please contact Member Services for more information.’ Though member services are not listed as a department in the drop down menu in the ‘contact the council page’ at http://www.rochford.gov.uk/Contact-the-Council !

    And if you search the website for ‘member services’ you don’t find anything relevant..!

    However, Jim, suggest you send your question to memberservices@rochford.gov.uk , they are very helpful officers in that department.

  4. 4
    JIM Cripps:

    OK thanks – just goes to prove how user unfriendly the system is , they can then always say it did’nt arrive in time for the next meeting , but I will give it a try…JIM.

  5. 5
    richard lambourne:

    I use

    Amar.Dave@rochford.gov.uk

    or

    chief.executive@rochford.gov.uk

    Both seem to get through to him

  6. 6
    Jim Cripps:

    Thanks Richard , tried that – [edited] ……..JIM

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