Council opens councillor workshops to the public
Published on 13 January 2021
In a move to increase Council’s transparency, Uralla Shire Council has opened councillor workshops to the public, excepting agenda items of a confidential nature as set out under Section 10A of the NSW Local Government Act 1993.
At its December Ordinary meeting Council resolved to open councillor workshops to the public, with the exception of agenda items under Section 10A of the NSW Local Government Act 1993.
Council further resolved to publish the agenda items to be considered by way of public notice three business days prior to the workshops.
Uralla Shire Deputy Mayor, Cr Isabel Strutt said the decision is a logical move forward for Council to deliver on its strategy to provide open, accountable and transparent decision making for the Uralla Shire community.
“Opening councillor workshops to the public will increase Council’s transparency and facilitate more effective communication with the community.”
“Council workshops and briefings are an important avenue for councillors to receive information from Council staff, which inform Council’s strategic decisions at subsequent Council meetings.”
“With the exception of confidential matters as set out in the Local Government Act, Council believes the public has the right to attend these workshops,” Councillor Strutt said.
Council’s General Manager, Kate Jessep said the decision reflected Council’s commitment to increase transparency and accountability to the Uralla Shire community.
“It’s important the community has confidence that Council is well informed on items before decisions are made at Council meetings, and that decisions are not made at workshops.”
Workshops and briefings held in public do not prevent councillors gathering for training, development, and team building sessions which are not open to the public.
Matters excepted from the open councillor workshops and briefings are those which fall under Section 10A of the NSW Local Government Act 1993, such as, but not limited to, personnel matters, commercial information of a confidential nature, or matters affecting the security of the council, councillors, council staff or council property.
“Workshop and briefing agenda items to be closed will still be listed in the agenda, posted to Council’s website three days prior to the session, with the reason for closing the item,” Ms Jessep said.
Councillor workshops are an informal gathering of Council and the formal requirements of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice do not apply, meaning that workshops are not recorded or webcast on Council’s website.
Councillor workshops and briefings are conducted by the General Manager to provide information to councillors and inform Council’s effective and strategic decision making at formal meetings of Council.
The next councillor workshop is scheduled for February 2021. Details of the workshop and agenda items will be published on the Council website at www.uralla.nsw.gov.au.
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Uralla Shire Council
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