The formal decision making process of a Council occurs via council meetings, which councillors are required to attend.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and members of the City's Executive Leadership Team also attend the meetings to provide information or advice when called upon by the Mayor.
These regular meetings of Council are generally held on the fourth Tuesday of each month except in January and December. The January meeting is generally held on the last Tuesday of that month.
In December, only one meeting is held on the 2nd Tuesday of that month.
These meetings are generally held at City Hall.
Community Focus Council meetings
These regular meetings of Council are generally held on the second Tuesday of each month except January and December when there is no Community Focus Council meeting.
These meetings are rotated through the wards and are held at venues around the municipality.
Council may also call Special meetings to enable it to discuss and decide upon specific matters, for example: the Budget, the Annual Report, etc.
These meetings are generally held at City Hall.
Notice of meetings
The date, time and location of meetings are advertised through the City News page in local papers. Meetings are open to the public unless Council makes a resolution to close the meeting.
Procedures at meetings
There is a local law which defines the rules on how Council meetings are conducted. The following are the key requirements of the Local Law:
The Mayor chairs Council meetings.
A quorum is established when at least a majority of councillors are present.
Before a proposal or recommendation may be voted on, it must be 'moved' (proposed) by one of the councillors. Another councillor must then 'second' (support) the proposal.
Council officers are not entitled to vote at Council meetings.
Agendas and minutes for the meeting
Access to agendas and minutes
Council meeting agendas are available from the meetings page on our website on the Friday prior to the Council meeting.
The Council considers each item on the agenda and makes a decision. This decision is called a resolution of Council and is recorded in the minutes.
We endeavour to have the minutes available within 3 days following the meeting on the meetings page on our website.
Composition of agendas
The agenda for a Council meeting is divided into several sections:
Details of any Councillors unable to attend, or those seeking leave, are recorded at this point.
Confirmation of minutes
Minutes of the previous Council meeting are confirmed, with or without corrections, as a true record of that meeting.
Declaration of interest or conflict of interest
Councillors are required to declare any conflicts of interest in any items on the agenda. This is a requirement of the Local Government Act 1989 (Act). It is usual for councillors to declare their interest at this point of the meeting, and again immediately before consideration of the relevant item. A Councillor declaring a conflict of interest must leave the meting room and take no part in the debate, or be present when the vote is taken.
Public question and submission time
Members of the public are invited to ask questions or make submissions to Council at Council meetings. Questions can be asked and answered, and submissions made to the Council in accordance with our Public Question and Submission Time Policy. More information is available on the public question and submission time at Council meetings page on our website.
Petitions received will generally be presented by the relevant ward or portfolio Councillor. They are formally received and acknowledged by Council. Petitions may, if relevant, be considered in conjunction with items on the agenda of the meeting. Otherwise, officers may write a report in response to petitions that will go to future ordinary meetings of council for decisions or the requests may be referred to the CEO for action and response. Find out more information about how to lodge a petition, including a simple petition template.
This section usually forms the main part of the agenda and comprises reports submitted by City officers in which recommendations are made to the Council for consideration. The recommendations as set out in the agenda are simply proposals to the Council for its consideration.
The Council may adopt these recommendations, amend the recommendations, determine a completely different course of action, or it may decline to pursue any course of action.
Notice of motion
This section enables a Councillor to propose a motion (recommendation) for consideration. For a notice of motion to be considered at the meeting, it must be provided in writing to the Chief Executive Officer at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.
This section allows for matters of an urgent nature to be considered by Council.
As no prior notice has been given for relevant issue, Council must vote on whether or not the issue will be considered, and a two-thirds majority must be achieved.
This section provides for the Council to discuss and decide upon matters of a confidential nature, for example: contractual matters, personnel issues etc.
Some issues, if discussed in open Council, could be detrimental to the interests of Council or others. For example: if Council were contemplating purchasing a piece of land, it would disadvantage the City if the price to be offered was disclosed.
For this reason, the Act enables a Council to resolve that the meeting be closed to members of the public if the meeting is discussing any of the following:
the personal hardship of any resident or ratepayer
matters affecting the security of Council property
any other matter which the Council or special committee considers would prejudice the Council or any person
a resolution to close the meeting to members of the public.
When matters of a confidential nature are to be dealt with, the item is listed on the agenda. However the sensitive information is not provided.
Council may vote to close the meeting to members of the public for the duration of the discussion and/or the making of the decisions on these matters. In doing so, it must indicate the reason for the issue being considered behind closed doors.
Normally any confidential matters are left until the end of the meeting.
Once Council has voted to close the meeting, the public and media are requested to leave the meeting.