Question time to be scrutinised

A VALE councillor has questioned the asking of questions at Full Council meetings.

Rhoose independent councillor, Philip Clarke asked council leader Cllr Neil Moore whether some questions, posed in the chamber, could best be dealt with by members phoning the appropriate department during office hours.

It was stated an average of 25 councillor questions are posed during the quarterly meetings.

Cllr Clarke said this was “excessive.”

He said: "Coincidentally, some of these questions are often followed by a newspaper article which makes the reason for asking them obvious.

Often, the supplementary is unrelated to the question, or the response, putting the recipient at a disadvantage.”

He asked if the leader thought it was time to “desist from this inane posturing, and consider introducing some rules” such as limiting questions to two per member, ensuring the supplementary should relate to the question or answer, and for councillors to give consideration to asking any question at full council which would easily be answered by asking the officer.

Vale Council leader, Cllr Neil Moore said a procedure for dealing with councillors’ questions would be dealt with by a working group.

Twenty questions were asked at the full council meeting on December 18.

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