More time for Council questions
Bass Coast Shire Council will introduce a designated time for community questions the week prior to its monthly Ordinary Meetings, starting in March.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Jordan Crugnale,said that people can make submissions or ask questions well prior to the formal meeting, which not only gives Councillors more lead time to consider information and research, but importantly gives genuine validity to the community that their input is valued.
“Many agreed that the current question time was stilted, felt tokenistic and that change was desperately needed. Council has also looked at the order of business with the view to a more streamlined and efficient meeting process,” Cr Crugnale said.
"The Agenda papers will be released 12 days prior to the Council Meeting, which will give people greater time to read, prepare and present any questions or feedback for Council to consider well before the meeting is held.”
Community members are invited to attend Community Engagement Question Time on the second Wednesday of each month between 3.00pm and 5.00pm, with the first session to be held on Wednesday, 9 March.
People are encouraged to register by providing their details and questions through a 'Community Engagement Question Time Form'. The form will be available on Council’s website and from Customer Service Centres in Wonthaggi, Cowes, Grantville and Inverloch from Tuesday, 1 March.
Community members are provided with the opportunity to speak, with time also set aside for Councillors to ask questions and seek clarification.
Other avenues for engagement that currently exist through email, post or through Council Officers, will continue and will be responded to in-line with the Customer Service Charter.
Council Meeting Question Time will still be held at the beginning of Council Meetings; however, questions must relate to items listed on the Agenda. Community members wishing to ask a question are requested to continue to use the exisiting ‘Council Meeting Question Time Form’ to enable Council to prepare a thorough and informed response. This form is also available from the website and Customer Service Centres.
Where practicable, an answer will be given at the Meeting. Questions that are taken ‘on notice’ will be responded to at the next most appropriate Council Meeting.