Call for more time to ask questions

A RESIDENT has asked for extra time for councillors to be quizzed by the public.

Terry Ellis used public question time at last Wednesday’s meeting of Arun District Council to air his concerns that the public were not being given enough time to ask questions.

Mr Ellis said: “During public question time, we have one minute to ask our question, coupled with a reply, this means that approximately three questions per month will receive answers.

“Given the consistently controversial decision making on the part of the council, more and more people want to attend full council and submit public questions – will the council consider extending public question time to 30 minutes on a permanent basis?” he added.

He also called for the council to hold one or two public meetings a year where questions could be asked of the council’s cabinet members and officials so an ‘honest and open debate under a chairman could take place’.

Mr Ellis received a reply from Arun’s deputy leader and cabinet member for corporate governance Dudley Wensley.

He said: “We welcome questions from members of the public and we also welcome their presence at meetings of the council and that is good for democracy.

“However, anyone can ask a question of the council or councillors at anytime – the contact details are on the website.

“It does not need a meeting of the council to ask a question and there is a link on the website to ask the leader, as an alternative a resident can also ask their ward councillor.”

Cllr Wensley added changing the procedure of asking questions was one for the council.