Council to provide greater opportunities for community participation
Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Interim Administrator Mr Viv May has adopted an amended Code of Meeting Practice in a bid to ensure more accessible, effective and efficient meetings of Council.
Adopted at Wednesday 28 July’s Extraordinary Meeting of Council, the amended code reflects Council’s commitment to improving transparency and openness and transitioning towards a paperless office.
Council’s Acting Deputy General Manager, Ms Marissa Racomelara, said the most significant change involved participation in Public Forum.
“Public Forum provides an opportunity for members of the community to participate in Council’s decision-making process,” she said.
“We actively encourage community members to speak to any item on the Business Agenda before it is considered by Council.”
To speak at a public forum a person must first make an application to Council by 4.30pm at least two business days prior to the forum of which the matter is to be included. Public Forum will not proceed if no applications are received.
Public Forum will take place 30 minutes prior to scheduled meetings of Council. To ensure balanced community representation, a person may only apply to speak for or against one item of business per meeting.
Presentations will be limited to five minutes and will not be live-streamed. Supporting documents will however be uploaded to Council’s website following the meeting.
The adopted amendments are consistent with recent changes enabling greater community representation.
“We’ve already opened up a number of previously closed committees, pre-meeting briefing sessions and workshops to the public,” Ms Racomelara said. “These amendments are another step towards providing further opportunities for members of the public to speak to an item in an orderly, safe and respectful environment.”
Council’s website has been updated with the relevant information and application form for speaking at Public Forum.
For more information visit www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Council/Corporate-Forms/Public-Forum-Application-Form
The next Public Forum will take place at 3pm on Wednesday 8 September 2021.