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Constitution

The Constitution

The Constitution sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people.  Some of these processes are required by law, while others are a matter for the Council to choose.

To access the Mid Suffolk District Council Constitution click here (opens new window).

Your attention is kindly drawn to Section 7 of the Constitution, which for convenience is reproduced below:

7 QUESTIONS BY THE PUBLIC

7.1 General

Members of the public may ask questions of any Chairman of a Committee in accordance with the meeting agenda.

7.2 Order of Questions

Questions will be asked in the order notice of them was received, except that the Chairman may group together similar questions.

7.3 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 five clear working days before the day of the meeting. Each question must give the name and address of the questioner and must name the relevant Chairman to whom it is to be put.

7.4 Number of Questions

At any one meeting no person may submit more than one question (plus a supplementary question) and no more than one question (plus a supplementary question) may be asked on behalf of one organisation. The Chairman shall also have the discretion to limit the number of questions received at any one meeting.

7.5 Scope of Questions

The Chief Executive may reject a question if it:(a) is not about a matter for which the Committee has a responsibility;(b) is defamatory, frivolous, vexatious or offensive;(c) is substantially the same as a question which has been put at a meeting of the Committee in the past six months; or(d) requires the disclosure of confidential or exempt information.

7.6 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, he or she may ask the Chairman to put the question on his/her 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.

7.7 Supplementary 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 7.5 above.

7.8 Written Answers

Any question which cannot be dealt with during the 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 and be made available on request.

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