Can I ask questions at council meetings?
Yes, you can. We welcome anyone (including Ryedale residents or people with a business interest in Ryedale) to ask questions at all ordinary meetings of Full Council.
To ask a question, you need to do the following:
- Deliver your question in writing to the Chief Executive (by post or email) no later than 48 hours before the day of the meeting
- Each question must include your name, address, telephone number and email address (if applicable)
- You can ask one question at any one meeting
- You can only ask one question on behalf of any one organisation
- Questions should be no longer than 100 words in length with an introduction limited to three minutes
Your question must be the same as the one you previously sent to the Chief Executive in writing and must be about things that we (Ryedale District Council) have a responsibility for.
Do all questions get accepted?
No, not all questions get accepted. Our Chief Executive may reject a question if:
- It is not about something that we have a responsibility for
- It is slanderous, silly or offensive
- It requires confidential or exempt information to be disclosed
- It is about to an individual/group business or the questioner’s own particular circumstances
- It relates to something which is the subject of legal or enforcement proceedings or an appeal to a tribunal or to a Government Minister or an investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman
- It relates to the personal circumstances or conduct of any Officer and Councillor or conditions of service of employees
- It relates to the appointment, promotion, dismissal, salary or other payments, superannuation or conditions of employment or the conduct or ability of any individual employed by the Council or the conduct of a member of the Council
- It relates to the activities and aims of a political party or organisation
- It relates to individual planning applications
- It is a statement and not an actual question
- Where the preparation of the answer would take up a disproportionate amount of time, money or effort
- It is too similar to a question which has already been discussed within the past six months
- It is about something operational where it’s more appropriate for one of our specific council officers to respond
How do I ask my question during the meeting?
The Chairman (the person in charge of the meeting) will invite you to ask your question, when it’s the right time. If you’ve sent in your question but can’t attend the meeting, you can ask the Chairman or Chief Executive to ask the question for you.
If it’s a virtual meeting, and you’re not able to attend the meeting online, the Chairman or Chief Executive will raise your question for you.
Can I add anything to my question?
Yes, you can. If you’ve raised your question in person, you can then ask an additional question. Just make sure that:
- Your extra question is directly related to your original question or the reply
- You don’t speak for more than one minute
The Chairman may reject an additional question on any of the grounds listed above.
If it’s a virtual meeting, and you’re not able to attend, you can send in an additional question after the meeting and you’ll be sent a written response. Your additional question and response will be attached to the minutes after the meeting.
Any question which can’t be dealt with during public question time, for whatever reason, will be dealt with by a written answer.