Public forums proposed prior to Council meetings

Community input has been sought for changes to the structure and timing of Central Coast Council meetings, in a bid to make them more efficient and focused on decision-making.
Public forums of 30 minutes before a Council meeting, with a limit on speakers and time limits on debate are being proposed.
Mayor Jane Smith said meetings were regularly exceeding the set finishing time, and the need for extra meetings was putting a strain on resources, and on community members participating in meetings.
“We have a huge job to do, as one of the largest Councils in the State, and there are lots of decisions we need to make to ensure that we can meet the needs of our community, now and in the future,” Mayor Smith said.
“There are a range of channels for community members to engage with Council, including Advisory Groups, which are often more effective than speaking at Council Meetings.
“We are absolutely committed to open and transparent decision making in the best interests of our community, and need to find the right balance between the community and Councillors having their say, while ensuring meetings are efficient and timely.
“The community will still get a say on issues in a forum to be held before the meeting, leaving the actual meeting to be able to focus on the decision-making needed to move our Council and our region forward.”
The proposed changes will be publicly exhibited for 28 days and will be available on yourvoiceourcoast.com shortly.

Source:
Media release, Jun 25
Central Coast Council media

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