Changes to Council meeting governance - Council continues to find better ways of working
23 February 2016
Willoughby Council is introducing changes to its Council meeting governance, and increasing the time available for the community to consider items on Council’s agenda. The changes aim to improve business efficiency, transparency, and the flow of information between community, Councillors and Council officers that will ultimately result in sounder decision making on behalf of the community.
- From March, Council meetings will be held, as before, twice a month on a Monday evening. Meeting Agendas will now be available on a Tuesday afternoon, rather than a Thursday – increasing the time community members and Councillors have to consider items and prepare prior to meetings.
- The opportunity to increase time for public scrutiny has resulted from the fact that the Cultural & Civic Committee and the Transport, Access & Environment Committee will no longer meet. This followed the identification of duplication in committee and Council meetings. Matters previously covered in committee meetings will be addressed directly at Council meetings, with the community still able to speak to Council on these matters
- A Councillors’ Briefing has also been introduced every second Monday evening, as required. These briefings will cover major or complex agenda items that Councillors may need extra time to digest and understand, or consult their community on, allowing them to make more informed and timely decisions at Council meetings. They are not decision making forums.
No changes have been made to other committees and advisory groups, though Council has been working to broaden and establish mechanisms that will increase the number of community members providing input, local knowledge and expertise into Council’s decision making process.
“Community input is a vital part of what local government is all about – serving the community is our reason for being. The changes adopted by Council are improvements aimed at ensuring more time for community input while making Willoughby a more efficient and smarter council – better value for ratepayer money while respecting democratic processes,” said Willoughby Council General Manager, Debra Just.
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