A new council meeting structure where there will be two council meetings per month and one executive committee meeting per month will commence next week. The twelve-month trial was endorsed at Tuesday night's Special Council Meeting, where a number of appointments to other committees and external agencies were also made.
Mayor Penny Taylor said the trial is part of the council’s commitment to reducing red tape.
“By having two council meetings per month we will speed up processing times and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the council decision-making process.
“It is a more professional and businesslike approach that will benefit the community, council members and the city’s administration.
“We will still apply a high level of rigour to the decision-making process, the difference is that there will be a reduction in the double-handling of items,” Mayor Taylor said.
CEO Don Burnett explained that most items were previously considered at the Development Services Committee or Corporate, Community and Technical Services Committee, and then again at Council.
“The new structure reduces lag time. Now items will go straight to council and big ticket items – such as the annual budget, significant planning matters and major projects – will be considered at the newly established Executive Committee before being referred to council for a final decision.
“It is hoped that the new structure will make it easier for our residential and business community to engage with council – whether that is finding out whether your carport has been approved, proposing a new community initiative or just coming along to watch council in action.
Mr Burnett said the two meeting per month structure was in place at a number of other local governments and would reviewed by council at the end of the twelve-month trial period.
A Special Council Meeting on Tuesday 14 November will mark the start of the twelve-month trial of two council meetings per month. The Executive Committee will commence in February 2018.