Public Question Time during every Ordinary Council meeting.Fifteen minutes are set aside, shortly after the start of the meeting, to answer questions from the public. Meetings start at 7pm, in the Council Chamber.
A resident within the Borough of Brentwood may, through the Mayor, ask any question relating to the business of the Council, provided that notice of the question is received by 10.00 am two clear working days before the meeting to the Monitoring Officer at the Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood, Essex. To be clear, if the Ordinary Council is on for example Wednesday the 20th of the month, notice must be received by 10am Friday the 15th of that month.The following provisions apply in relation to questions from the public:
The number of questions which may be asked by any one member of the public shall be limited to two at any one Council meeting.
Such questions shall be included on the agenda for the meeting as the next item of business after the approval of the minutes of the last meeting.
Questions given to the Monitoring Officer in accordance with this Procedure Rule shall be submitted to the Council in order of receipt.
The member of the public who wishes to ask the question shall be given the opportunity of attending the Council meeting to put the question in person but if not present to ask the question when the item is called, the question shall be deleted from the list of questions to be asked.
The question shall be put to the Member named by the questioner.
Every question asked pursuant to this Rule shall be put and answered without discussion but the Member to whom the question has been put may decline to answer.
An answer may take the form of:
• a direct oral answer given at the Council meeting which shall be recorded in the minutes, or
• where there has been insufficient time to research the answer, a written answer will be sent to the questioner and circulated to all Members of the Council with the minutes of the meeting at which the question was asked.
Time for questions from members of the public shall be restricted to 15 minutes in total. At the expiration of that period of time, any questions which have not been asked shall be answered in writing and the answer placed with the minutes.
There shall be no public question time at the Annual Meeting or an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council.
The Mayor of the Council at his/her discretion may disallow any question which is scurrilous, vexatious, improper, irrelevant or otherwise objectionable, and shall inform the questioner in writing prior to the meeting with reasons for the decision. Any question requiring the disclosure of “Exempt Information” as defined under Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) shall not be allowed.
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