Council meeting procedures

Council meeting procedures

Council Meeting Agenda and Report Formats

Agenda Format

The following format outlines the standing items and business order for Council Meetings:

  • Attendance and Apologies
  • Confirmation of Minutes
  • Mayor's Communication
  • Council Workshops
  • Declarations of Pecuniary Interests of Aldermen or Close Associate
  • Tabling of Petitions
  • Public Question Time
    • Public Questions on Notice
    • Answers to Questions on Notice
    • Answers to Previous Questions Taken on Notice
    • Questions without Notice
  • Deputations by Members of the Public
  • Motions on Notice
  • Reports from Outside Bodies
    • Reports from Single and Joint Authorities
    • Reports from Council and Special Committees and other Representative Bodies
  • Reports from Officers
    • Weekly Briefing Reports
    • Determination on Petitions Tabled at Previous Council Meetings
    • Planning Authority Items
    • Customer Service Items
    • Asset Management Items
    • Financial Management Items
    • Governance Items
  • Aldermen's Question Time
  • Closed Meeting
    • Applications for Leave of Absence

Report Format

The following format outlines the content details for agenda items and associated reports listed on Council Meeting Agendas:-

  • Title
  • Executive Summary
  • Purpose
  • Relation to Existing Policy/Plans
  • Legislative Requirements
  • Consultation
  • Financial Implications
  • Recommendation

Associated Report

  • Background
  • Report in Detail
  • Consultation
  • Strategic Plan/Policy Implications
  • External Impacts
  • Risk and Legal Implications
  • Financial Implications
  • Any other Unique Issues
  • Conclusion

Confirmation of Minutes

  • The Council or Council committee is to ensure that the minutes of any previous ordinary or special meeting not then confirmed are to be submitted for confirmation.
  • Council may resolve to amend the minutes of a meeting prior to confirmation.
  • In accordance with Regulation 36 of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005, debate of any matter referred to in minutes submitted for confirmation is not permissible except to question the accuracy of the minutes as a record of the meeting to which they relate.

Mayor's Communication

Immediately after confirmation of the minutes at a Council Meeting, the Mayor or Chairperson may make any communication to the Council which the Mayor or Chairperson considers necessary.

Public Question Time

In accordance with the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005, a period of fifteen minutes for "public question time" will be set aside at ordinary Council Meetings for members of the community to ask questions relating to Council activities.

Public question time provides an opportunity for people to ask questions about Council's activities, not make statements. Anyone wishing to address Council and make a statement may do so under the Deputation section of Council Meeting Agenda.

Procedures for the conduct of public question time at meetings of the Clarence City Council.

Deputations

In accordance with the provisions of Regulation 38 of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005, Council has established a policy, guidelines and conditions to apply for the attendance of deputations at Council Meetings.

Motions on Notice

In accordance with Regulation 16(5) of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005, an Alderman may give notice of a motion which that Alderman intends to move at a meeting.

When an Alderman intends to give notice of a motion, that Alderman is to submit to the General Manager on the Friday ten days before the meeting at which it is to be listed, a signed copy of the motion, together with supporting information and reasons prepared by that Alderman explaining the motion and its effect on previous decisions or policies of the Council.

The General Manager is to notify the substance of the motion in the notice of the next meeting and is to incorporate the Alderman's motion and supporting information and reasons in the agenda of that meeting. In the case of motions on notice to overturn previous resolutions of Council, the General Manager is to include advice as to whether or not:

  • the original motion directed that certain actions be taken; and
  • that action has been wholly or substantially carried out.

A maximum of two notices of motion may be submitted by an Alderman for any one meeting of the Council.

In considering a notice of motion the Council is to have regard to the advice provided by the General Manager in respect of the motion.

Briefing Report Items

Only reports which are of an informative nature and which do not require formal consideration by the Council, be included in the Weekly Briefing Report; and that an item for noting regarding the Weekly Briefing Report be included in the Agenda for the Council Meeting.

Aldermen's Question Time

In recognition of the provisions of Regulation 29 of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005, Aldermen are permitted to submit a maximum of two questions without notice at a Council Meeting. Council places no limitation on the number of questions that Aldermen may put on notice to be listed for answer at a forthcoming Council Meeting.

The Chairperson or Alderman asked a question on notice is not to answer it unless the Alderman giving notice, or an Alderman at the request and on behalf of that Alderman, is present at the meeting to ask the question formally.

A question on notice that has been answered, together with the answer, is to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which the answer was given.

In accordance with Regulation 30 of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005 a Question on Notice is to be submitted in writing seven days before the Meeting.

Closed Meetings

Council, in accordance with the procedures and intentions of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005, will deal with the following matters in Closed Meeting:

  • personnel matters including complaints against an employee of the Council;
  • industrial matters relating to a person;
  • contracts for the supply and purchase of goods and services;
  • the security of property of the Council;
  • proposals for the acquisition of land or an interest in the land or for the disposal of land;
  • information provided to the Council on the condition it is kept confidential;
  • trade secrets of private bodies;
  • matters relating to actual or possible litigation taken by or involving the Council or an employee of the Council;
  • applications by Aldermen for Leave of Absence;
  • the personal affairs of any person.

Recording of Proceedings

The following record of proceedings will apply to Council meetings in addition to the procedures outlined in the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005.

1. Lapse of Motion

A motion lapses if it is not seconded and is not to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

2. Words may be Taken Down

An Alderman may request the General Manager to record in the minutes of the meeting any words spoken by another Alderman when addressing the Chairperson, unless, in the opinion of the Chairperson, the request is made vexatiously or with the sole intention of hindering the meeting.

3. Abstaining from Vote

  1. An Alderman who fails to vote in the manner applicable in the circumstances is taken to have abstained from the vote.
  2. An Alderman not in his or her seat or at the meeting table, unless absent from the room or from the meeting, when a motion is put, is taken to have abstained from the vote.
  3. Immediately after a motion has been put and before the meeting has proceeded to the next item of business, an Alderman may request that his or her abstaining vote be recorded, and upon such a request the General Manager is to record the name and details of his or her abstaining vote in the minutes of the meeting.

Meeting Conduct

1. Conduct of Meetings in Relation to the Chair

  1. The Chairperson need not stand when addressing the Council.
  2. The Chairperson is to call on items listed on the formal agenda for consideration and until called on, no discussion or debate on motions is to ensue.
  3. Before an item is discussed or debated there is to be a motion moved, seconded and accepted by the Chairperson.
  4. In accordance with Regulation 10 of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005, if the Chairperson has moved or seconded a motion before the Meeting, the Chairperson is to vacate the Chair until the motion has been dealt with.
  5. The Chairperson may remain in the Chair to address the meeting on any motion before the Chair which has not been moved or seconded by the Chairperson.
  6. An Alderman proposing or speaking to a motion or discussing any matter under consideration is to stand and address the Chairperson.
  7. If two or more Aldermen rise simultaneously to address the Chairperson, the Chairperson is to decide the order in which they are to address the meeting.
  8. An Alderman, when addressing the Chairperson, is to refer to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Aldermen by their respective titles.

2. Digression, Personal Comments, or Improper Imputations

When addressing the Chairperson, a member is not to:

  1. digress from the subject under discussion; or
  2. make any personal comments regarding any other Alderman; or
  3. impute an improper motive to any other Alderman; or
  4. repeatedly annoy another Alderman; or
  5. use an expression which, in the opinion of the Chairperson, is capable of being applied to another Alderman so as to cause offence to that other Alderman.

3. Interruption of Speaker by Alderman

When an Alderman is addressing the Chairperson, no other Alderman is to:

  1. converse aloud; or
  2. create any disturbance; or
  3. interrupt the speaker or interject except:
    • to request that any words spoken be noted; or
    • to call attention to a point of order; or
    • to call attention to the want of a quorum.

Representatives of the Council

  1. The Mayor is to be the Council's representative on the Local Government Association of Tasmania, Australian Mayoral Aviation Council, Counter Disaster Committee, Southern Tasmanian Councils Board (Authority to be formalised) unless the Mayor declines that appointment, in which case, he or she may appoint another member to be the Council's representative.
  2. With the exception of appointments made by the Council under any other Act, all representative appointments of the Council on boards, authorities, special committees, community committees and outside bodies expire at the first Council Meeting following every ordinary Council election.
  3. At the first Council Meeting following every ordinary Council election the Council is to elect its representatives, to fill the expired terms referred to in "2" above.

    Where there are two or more positions to filled to represent Council on a particular body, then each position is to be dealt with as a separate election in accordance with the following election process.

    The election process for filling of the expired terms is to be in accordance with the following procedures:
    1. nominations put before the meeting do not require a seconder, however, the nomination must be accepted by the nominee;
    2. in the event that there are two or more nominations received, the nominee members must leave the meeting room whilst the election takes place;
    3. if there are more than two candidates for an appointment then the election is to be conducted in the following manner:
      • the vote is to be taken in stages;
      • the candidate having the least number of votes is to be eliminated from the ballot and excluded from the next stage of the ballot;
      • the candidate member who has been excluded from the ballot is entitled to return to the meeting room and thereafter is entitled to take part in the voting for the remaining candidates;
      • this procedure is to be followed until the number of candidates has been reduced to two;
    4. if there is a tie in the number of votes cast for two or more nominee members, the nominee eliminated or the successful nominee, whichever the case may require, is to be determined by lot.
  4. In the event that there is a casual vacancy for a representative appointment made by Council then the Council is to elect a replacement appointee to fill the vacancy at the earliest available meeting of the Council in accordance with the above election process.
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