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I am aware of a councillors role in bringing issues forward....

0 votes

However, this was not an issue brought forward through a councillor, rather a direct request to the clerk to put an item on the agenda by a member of the public. I am not aware that the public have a legal right to do this and that was my question....

 

As an aside, I know that the public can ask a question in public question time (or the equivalent) but the council can choose not to answer or can give a written answer

by (140 points)

1 Answer

0 votes

Sorry! You are the clerk. Honestly I am not sure about the legal position but in practical terms it would seem a bit pedantic if the public were expressly forbidden from using the services of the clerk in this way. You could perhaps discuss informally with the chair before adding such an item to the agenda. In any event, the council can always resolve no action on the item and therefore effectively extinguish any item not considered to merit thorough discussion.

With regard to matters raised in public question time you are quite correct. How these are dealt with is a matter for individual councils and their chairs. Personally I favour not giving a response unless all that is required is a straightforward reply based on agreed council policy. Certain matters must not be discussed or determined (especially matters with a financial consequence - public notice must have been given, matters requiring a decision - other members of the public might wish to make reps. but were unaware that the matter concerned was up for debate, etc.) Furthermore, depending on the nature of the matter raised a written replt affords time to give a measured reply

by (3.9k points)

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