The Procedure for Raising a Question with a Norfolk County Council Committee

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Community Action Norfolk are sharing this information from Norfolk County Council.  The procedure is correct as published in the Norfolk County Council Meeting Papers on 11th April, but please contact the Head of Democratic Services for any changes.   

Questions by the Public at Service Committees

A person resident in Norfolk, or who is a non-domestic ratepayer in Norfolk, or who pays Council Tax in Norfolk may ask at an ordinary meeting of a Service Committee through the Chairman any question within the terms of reference of the Committee about a matter for which the council has a responsibility or particularly affects the County. The Head of Democratic Services may reject a question if it:

  • (a) is not about a matter for which the council has a responsibility or particularly affects the County;
  • (b is defamatory, frivolous or offensive or has been the subject of a similar question in the last 6 months or the same as one already submitted under this provision;
  • (c) requires the disclosure of confidential or exempt information (as defined the Council’s Access to Information Procedure Rules


A question under this rule may only be put if either:

  • (i) at least 2 working days’ notice of the question is given in writing to the Head of Democratic Services; e.g. by 5.00 p.m. on the Wednesday preceding a Service Committee meeting on Monday;


  • (ii) The question relates to urgent matters and it has the consent of the Chairman to whom the question is to be put, and the content of the question is given to the Head of Democratic Services by 9.30 a.m. on the day of the meeting.


At any ordinary Service Committee meeting, the number of questions which can be asked will be limited to one question per person plus a supplementary. No more than one question plus a supplementary may be asked on behalf of any one organisation. No person shall be entitled to ask in total under this provision more than one question and a supplementary in any six month period.

Questions are subject to a maximum word limit of 110 words. Questions that are in excess of 110 words will be disqualified. The total time for public questions will be limited to 15 minutes. Questions will be put in the order in which they are received.

A supplementary question may be asked without notice and should be brief (fewer than 75 words and take less than 20 seconds to put). It should relate directly to the original question or the reply. The Chairman may reject any supplementary question s/he does not consider compliant with this requirement.


The Chairman shall exercise his/her discretion as to the response given to the question and any supplementary. If the person asking the question indicates they will not be attending the Committee, a written response will simply be sent to the questioner. If the person asking the question has indicated they will attend, responses to questions will be made available in the Committee Room in writing before the start of the meeting and copies of the questions and answers will be available to all in attendance. The responses to questions will not be read out at the meeting. The Chairman may give an oral response to a supplementary question or may require another Member or Officer to answer it. If an oral answer cannot be conveniently given, a written response will be sent to the questioner within seven days of the meeting.

If the person who has given notice of the question is not present at the meeting or if any questions remain unanswered within the 15 minutes allowed for questions, a written response will be sent within seven working days of the meeting.