Ask Council a Question

Public Question Time is held at the start of all Town of Cambridge Committee and Council meetings. 

Public Question Time Conditions

  1. Written questions shall be received no later than 24 hours prior to a meeting.
  2. Members of the public can ask verbal questions at an Ordinary Council meeting in person.
  3. Complex questions requiring research may be asked from the floor however they will be taken on notice and a response included in the minutes of the next Council Meeting.
  4. Debate or discussion on a response is not permitted.
  5. Questions may be taken on notice.
  6. Questions asked at an Ordinary Council meeting must relate to a matter that affects the Town of Cambridge.
  7. Offensive, defamatory questions shall be rejected.
  8. Respect to the Council Chamber shall be shown at all times.

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Public Question Time Procedure

  1. Public Question Time is available only for asking questions, not for making statements or long preamble / post script. A short preamble for contextual understanding is acceptable.
  2. Questions may be heard at the commencement of a Council meeting at the appropriate Item titled 'Public Question Time'.
  3. Any person who completes and submits, with at least 24 hours' notice, a 'Public Question Time" form may be received at a Council meeting.
  4. Complex questions requiring research shall be submitted seven (7) working days prior to the Council meeting in order to allow the Town sufficient time to prepare a response.
  5. Questions may be accepted in writing at the meeting (forms provided in the Council Chamber foyer) by placing the form in the 'Public Question Time' tray provided in the Council Chamber no later than five (5) minutes prior to the commencement of the Council meeting. Any questions submitted at the meeting may be taken on notice and an answer provided in the Minutes of the next Ordinary Council meeting.
  6. Public Question Time will be held in accordance with the legislated period of at least 15 minutes. A maximum of three (3) minutes is allotted for each person to ask up to three (3) questions, including any contextual or opening statement. All questions must relate to the ordinary business of the Town of Cambridge, the function of Council or the purpose of the Special Council Meeting as appropriate. Sub-parts of questions are counted as a question (for example, question 1 parts (a), (b) and (c) will be counted as three questions).
  7. Public question time may be declared closed following the expiration of the allocated 15 minute time period, or earlier if there are no further questions. Questions are to be directed to the Presiding Member. The Presiding Member may, at his/her discretion:
  • Accept or reject the question and his/her decision is final;
  • Make a determination where there is concern about a question being offensive, defamatory or the like, in which case it will not be published;
  • Nominate a Member of the Council and / or an Officer to answer the question; and
  • Treat questions as correspondence;
  • Take a question on notice, in which case the response will be provided in the Minutes of the next Ordinary Council meeting.

8. No debate or discussion will be permitted on any question or answer.

9. A summary of all questions (except those rejected) and the responses will be recorded in the Minutes of the Council Meeting.

The Public Question Time procedure is contained within the Town of Cambridge Standing Orders Local Law 2008(PDF, 146KB)