The Chief Executive Officer and members of the Executive Management Team also attend the meetings to provide information or advice when called upon by the Council.
These regular meetings of Council are held on the third Tuesday of each month.
Council may also call Special Meetings to enable it to discuss and decide upon specific matters, eg the Budget, the Annual Report, etc.
The date, time and location of Ordinary and Special Meetings are advertised through the City News page in local papers. Meetings are open to the public.
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. If for any reason the Mayor cannot attend a Council meeting, the Deputy Mayor will fulfill the role. Where both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are absent, Council must appoint another Councillor to act as Chairperson.
For a Council meeting to proceed, at least 7 of the 13 Councillors must be present at the meeting (ie half of the number of Councillors plus 1).
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.
The Mayor then invites the mover and seconder to speak in support of the proposal.
Those Councillors who wish to speak either for or against the proposal are then given an opportunity to speak.
At the conclusion of the debate, the Mayor puts the proposal to the vote.
It should be noted that not all proposals put before the Council will necessarily be the subject of debate.
All Councillors present at a Council meeting are required to vote. Voting is by a show of hands.
For a recommendation to be passed, a majority of Councillors present at the meeting (that is, half of the number of Councillors plus one) must vote in favour of the recommendation.
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 City Hall from noon on the Friday prior to the meeting. Copies may also be accessed at each of our Customer Service Centres on the Friday prior to the Council meeting, or from the meetings page on our website.
Copies of the agenda are available 30 minutes prior to the Council meeting for members of the public attending the 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.
The minutes are available from noon on the Friday following the Meeting and are available from the meetings page on our website and Customer Service Centres.
Composition of Agenda
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. 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 Council Chamber and take no part in the debate, or be present when the vote is taken.
Public Question Time
Petitions received will generally be presented by the relevant Ward or Portfolio Councillor. The petition will be formally received and referred to the appropriate officer for action and/or report to a future meeting of Council.
This section usually forms the main part of the agenda and comprises reports submitted by Council 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.
Documents which are required to be legally signed by Council are listed in this section. Council is an entity, not a person, so its legal signature is its Common Seal.
This section provides for the Council to discuss and decide upon matters of a confidential nature, eg 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 Local Government 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.