Community Asked How Council Meetings Should Run

Friday 2 June 2017

Council is inviting residents to have their say about Council’s new draft Code of Meeting Practice, which is aimed at making sure that all Council’s decisions are made in an open and transparent way.

The Draft Code of Meeting Practice is now open for comment until 13 July 2017.

Council’s Administrator Mr Richard Pearson said that Council wants to make sure that meetings are run fairly and that meeting procedures improve decision making.

“Council staff have recognised that improvements needed to be made to the existing model, sooner rather than later,” he said.

“An effective Code of Meeting Practice is the cornerstone of good meetings where informed decisions are made.

“It helps us make sure that the community is heard and that everyone treats each other with respect.

“The new approach has already received the backing of Council’s Implementation Advisory Group and Local Representation Advisory Committee.

“Now it’s up to the community to give us their opinions and suggestions.”

As part of the consultation, Council is particularly interested to hear community feedback on two options for allowing community members to speak at the meeting, ask questions and present ideas.

“Both options keep our participation levels higher than that of comparable councils like City of Sydney, Parramatta, Cumberland and Northern Beaches,” said Mr Pearson.

“The first option allocates one hour at the beginning of council meetings to hear from registered speakers on items from the Agenda.

“Speakers get to address the meeting in order of the Agenda items and at the end of the forum, Council will debate agenda items and make decisions.

“The second option continues the current practice of members of the public speaking as agenda items are raised.

“However, to ensure that there is a balance between public participation and time for Council consideration, Council may in some cases need to limit the number of speakers.

“Registered speakers would be encouraged to collaborate to make sure that all points are being made without repetition.”

Council will consider all submissions on the draft Code before deciding whether to proceed with a new code now or await its adoption by the new elected Council in September.

The Administrator has also committed to seeing out his term under the existing Code of Meeting Practice, with any new Code to become operative only after Council elections.

To have your say on the Draft Code of Meeting Practice, and options for the public forum, visit:

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Page last updated: 05 Dec 2018