The Council welcomes questions from the public which may be asked in Public Question Time at each ordinary meeting.
Questions may also be asked in writing. Written questions must be received at least seven days before the meeting to which they are directed; i.e. on the Friday-week prior to a meeting scheduled on a Monday.
Any written answer or summary of that answer to a question in writing is recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which it is asked.
The following regulations and procedures apply to Public Question Time:
Regulation 31 of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005 provides as follows:
"(1) A member of the public may give written notice to the general manager 7 days before an
ordinary meeting of a council of a question to be asked at that meeting.
(2) The chairperson may -
(a) address questions on notice submitted by members of the public; and
(b) invite any member of the public present at an ordinary meeting to ask questions
relating to activities of the council.
(3) The chairperson at an ordinary meeting of a council must ensure that, if required, at least 15
minutes of that meeting is made available for questions by members of the public.
(4) A question by any member of the public under this regulation and an answer to that question
are not to be debated.
(5) The chairperson may -
(a) refuse to accept a question; or
(b) require a question to be put on notice and in writing to be answered at a later
(6) If the chairperson refuses to accept a question, the chairperson is to give reasons for doing
(7) A council is to determine any other procedures to be followed in respect of question time.
(8) The period referred to in sub regulation (1) includes Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
but does not include -
(a) the day on which notice is given under that sub regulation; and
(b) the day of the meeting."
As provided by Regulation 31(7), the Council has determined other procedures to be followed. These are:
1 A period of not more than 30 minutes is to be set aside for public question time.
2 Public question time is to commence at 6.40pm or as soon as practicable thereafter.
3 If there are no questions from the public or if all questions have been answered before the allocated
30 minutes has expired, the chairperson is to resume the meeting at the item of business being
dealt with when public question time commenced.
4 Upon resumption, the chairperson is to inform the public present, and any new member of the public
who attends from then until 30 minutes after public question time commenced, that questions may
still be asked until the conclusion of that 30-minute period.
5 Each member of the public may ask not more than two questions at each meeting, including any
questions for which written notice has been previously given.
6 All questions are to be directed to the chairperson who may invite another Councillor or employee of
the Council to respond.
7 Councillors, other than the chairperson, and employees of the Council are not to engage in dialogue
with a member of the public at public question time unless invited to do so by the chairperson.
8 A member of the public, before asking a question, is to identify himself or herself and, if it is not
possible for an answer to be provided to a question at the meeting, a written answer to the person
asking the question is to be provided subsequent to the meeting.
9 If an item on the meeting agenda has not been dealt with prior to public question time, questions
about that item are not to be taken for the reason that a response at that time could compromise
the Council's subsequent consideration of that item.
10 Public statements (as opposed to questions) are not to be accepted for the reason that statements
could be considered to be a form of participation in debate.