Part 4 - Rules of procedure
Below are the rules of procedure.
- 1 - Annual meeting of the County Council
- 2 - Ordinary meetings
- 3 - Extraordinary meetings
- 4 - Location and times of Full Council meetings
- 5 - Notice and summons to meetings
- 6 - Chair of meeting
- 7 - Quorum
- 8 - Questions from the public
- 9 - Questions by Members
- 10 - Notices of motion
- 11 - Motions without notice
- 12 - Rules of debate
- 13 - Previous decisions and motions
- 14 - Voting
- 15 - Minutes
- 16 - Record of attendance
- 17 - Exclusion of the public
- 18 - Members conduct
- 19 - Members interests in contracts and other matters
- 20 - Disturbance by the public
- 21 - Photography and audio recordings of meetings
- 22 - Electronic communication
- 23 - Suspension and amendment of procedural standing orders
- 24 - Authority of the Chair
- 25 - Group Leaders and Lead Members
- 26 - Application of procedural standing orders to other council bodies
- 27 - Election of Chair and Vice-Chair of committees
- 28 - Appointment of substitute members of committee
8.1 At each ordinary meeting of the full Council (excluding the first annual meeting of the new Council) there shall be up to 30 minutes set aside for written and urgent questions from the public.
8.2 Written question at full Council
People who live or work in the county or are affected by the work of the County Council may ask:
8.2.1 The Chair of the Council;
8.2.2 The Leader of the Council;
8.2.3 A Cabinet Member;
8.2.4 A Chair of any other Council body, whose remit covers the subject matter in question;
8.2.5 A Cabinet Project Champion
a question on any matter which is within the powers and duties of the Council, including, but not limited, a question which relates to any report being brought to that meeting by the Cabinet, any committee or any other council body.
8.3 Notice of questions
A question under this Procedural Standing Order that does not relate to a report which is on the agenda for that meeting may be asked if a written copy of the question has been delivered to the Chief Executive by 10.00 a.m. six clear working days before the date of the meeting.
8.4 A question under this Procedural Standing Order which relates to a report which is on the agenda for that meeting may be asked if a written copy of the question has been delivered to the Chief Executive by 10.00 a.m. four clear working days before the date of the meeting. In the event that publication of a report is unavoidably delayed, the chair shall have the discretion to extend the deadline for questions under this Procedural Standing Order that relate to that report.
A written answer will be provided to a written question and will be given to the questioner and to County Councillors before the meeting. The question and answer will then be taken as read at the meeting itself and need not be read out.
8.6 A copy of all written questions and written answers circulated at the meeting will be attached to the signed copy of the minutes of the meeting.
8.7 Additional Questions
A member of the public who has put a written question may, with the consent of the Chair, ask an additional oral question on the same subject.
8.8 An answer to an oral question under this Procedural Standing Order will take the form of:
8.8.1 A direct oral answer;
8.8.2 Where the information required is contained in a Council document or other published work, the questioner will be given the name of that document and if the Chair considers it appropriate the relevant part of the document will be read out;
8.8.3 If the information required is not easily available, a written answer will be sent to the questioner and circulated to all Members of the Council. Supplementary written answers will be provided within 14 days and then published as a supplementary document with the original meeting papers, no later than 4 weeks after the meeting.
8.9 There will be no discussion on any public question.
8.10 Written questions may be rejected and oral questions need not be answered when the Chair considers that they:
8.10.1 Are not on any matter that is within the powers and duties of the Council;
8.10.2 Are defamatory, frivolous or offensive;
8.10.3 Are substantially the same as a question that has been put to a meeting of the Council in the past six months; or
8.10.4 Would require the disclosure of confidential or exempt information.
In every case, the Chair must specify the reason for rejecting a question or not requiring an answer to be given to it.
8.11 Urgent Questions
A member of the public may ask an urgent question, which the Chair considers could not have been reasonably submitted by the deadline for the receipt of written questions, within the 30 minutes set aside for written and urgent questions, providing that they give notice of the question to the Chief Executive by 12 noon the day before the meeting.