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Public questions at council meetings

Please use the links below for information about public questions at the following meetings:

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Members of the public can ask questions at Cornwall Council meetings. They can also ask questions at Cabinet meetings, Scrutiny meetings and other Committees.

The process to ask a question is broadly the same for all meetings with some differences.

The Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (CIFCA) has a different protocol.

Questioners must send questions in writing or by electronic mail to the Democratic Lead Officer. They must include the questioner's name and address. The name and town where the questioner is resident appear in the minutes for the meeting.

Questions must refer to the business of the Council or Committee. Questions must not be frivolous, defamatory or offensive. The Committee hear questions in the order they are received. The Chairman may group together similar questions.

At the meeting the Chairman will invite the questioner to ask their question. At the discretion of the Chairman the questioner may ask one supplementary question.

If the time for public questions runs out the Committee will send a written answer to the questioner within seven days.

No member of the public may ask more than two questions in any one financial year.

  1. There is a total of 30 minutes at the start of each Council meeting for questions and supplementary questions from members of the public
  2. The deadline for questions is no later than midday 2 clear working days before the day of the meeting. For a meeting on a Tuesday the deadline is midday on the previous Thursday.
  3. Questions must not exceed 50 words in length and ask for information rather than make a statement. No one or organisation may submit more than 1 question to any 1 meeting and no more than 2 questions in any 1 financial year

To submit a question electronically please email fullcouncil@cornwall.gov.uk

  1. There is a total of 15 minutes at the start of each Cabinet meeting for questions and supplementary questions from members of the public
  2. The deadline for questions is no later than midday 2 clear working days before the day of the meeting. For a meeting on a Wednesday the deadline is midday on the previous Friday.
  3. see Council meetings above.

To submit a question for Cabinet electronically please email cabinet@cornwall.gov.uk

Members of the public may ask a question or make a statement that relates to the business of the Committee

  1. There is a total of 10 minutes at the start of each Cabinet meeting. This is for questions or statements and supplementary questions or statements from members of the public. Questioners have 3 minutes of speaking time to put their question or statement.
  2. The deadline for questions is no later than midday 2 clear working days before the day of the meeting. For a meeting on a Wednesday the deadline is midday on the previous Friday.
  3. Where more than 1 person wishes to raise the same issue or question they are asked to appoint a spokesperson.

Members of the public may ask questions at meetings of the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee.
There is a total of 15 minutes at the start of each Committee meeting for questions.

Questioners must send questions in writing or by electronic mail to the Committee by email to tamarbridge@cornwall.gov.uk.

Questioners must include their name and address.

The deadline for questions is no later than midday 3 clear working days before the day of the meeting. For a meeting on a Friday the deadline is midday on the previous Monday.

Questions must not normally exceed 50 words in length and ask for information rather than make a statement. Questioners may submit no more than 1 question to any 1 meeting or more than 2 questions in any 1 financial year.

The Committee Clerk sends the questions to the Committee Members before the meeting.

The Chairman invites questioners to ask questions in the order the committee receives them.

If the Questioner is unable to attend the meeting the Chairman puts the question and the questioner receives a reply in writing.

Where more than 1 person wishes to raise the same issue or question the Committee Clerk will ask them to appoint a spokesperson.

The questioner may, at the discretion of the Chairman, ask a supplementary question on the same topic.

The Chairman reserves the right to end any question if he/she considers the speaker is becoming abusive or disruptive.

There is no further discussion on questions allowed.

If the time for public questions runs out the Committee will send a written answer to the questioner within seven days.

The Committee will not accept questions that:

  1. are not a matter for which the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint Ferry Joint Committee has responsibility or affects the Joint Committee;
  2. are unsuitable in form, frivolous, defamatory, derogatory or otherwise offensive;
  3. are substantially the same as a question put to a meeting of the Joint Committee in the past 6 months;
  4. relate to a matter which the Joint Committee would be likely to consider in the absence of the press and public. So answering it would result in the disclosure of confidential or exempt information.

If a public question is rejected, the Committee Clerk will tell the questioner of the reason in writing.

Questions from the Public

Members of the public may ask a question at ordinary meetings of CIFCA. There is a total of 15 minutes at the start of each Committee meeting for questions.

The Monitoring Officer or their representative can reject questions that:-

  1. are not a matter for which the CIFCA has responsibility or which affects the CIFCA
  2. are unsuitable in form, frivolous, defamatory, derogatory or otherwise offensive
  3. are substantially the same as a question put to a meting of CIFCA in the last 6 months
  4. relate to a matter which CIFCA would be likely to consider in the absence of the press and public. So answering it would result in the disclosure of confidential or exempt information.

The Chairman invites questioners to ask their questions in the order CIFCA receives them.

Where more than 1 person wishes to ask the same question the Committee Clerk will ask them to appoint a spokesperson.

Questioners must send questions in writing or by electronic mail to the Committee. Questioners must include their name and address.

The deadline for questions is no later than 3 clear working days before the day of the meeting. For a meeting on a Friday the deadline is midday on the previous Monday.

Questioners may submit no more than 1 question to any 1 meeting or more than 2 questions in any 1 financial year.

The Committee Clerk sends the questions to the Committee Members before the meeting.

Copies of the questions are available to the public.

If a public question is rejected, the Committee Clerk will tell the questioner of the reason in writing.

The Chairman will invite the questioner to put the question to the Committee. If the questioner is unable to be present they may ask the Chairman to put the question on their behalf. The Chairman may decide to give a written response or decide, in the absence of the questioner that the question will not be dealt with.

The Committee hear questions in the order they are received.

At the discretion of the Chairman a questioner may ask one supplementary question.

If the time for questions runs out the Committee will send a written answer to the questioner.

The limit for the length of written answers to questions is 200 words.

The Chairman has discretion whether to allow public questions at a CIFCA meeting. Questions must refer to an item on the agenda.

The limit for public questions is 15 minutes on a first come first served basis. Questioners have 5 minutes of speaking time to put their question.

Where more than 1 person wishes to raise the same issue they are asked to appoint a spokesperson. If they do not agree on a spokesperson the Chairman will appoint one.

To submit a question or for more information please contact Emma Richards, 01872 326489.