Council agrees new meeting structure and red tape initiative

Redland City Council has endorsed new Council meeting arrangements removing the current Standing committees, establishing a Cleveland CBD Revitalisation Special Committee and reducing red tape for routine matters and decision making.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the changes to begin in February 2013 will allow Councillors to focus on strategic matters rather than routine operational matters.

“I want to empower councillors and allow them to be able to spend more time in their communities and on important strategic issues, a view shared unanimously by all my colleagues.

“These changes followed a review of the existing committee structure over the past six months and a report to Council that looked at the current best practice in other local governments.

“The report prepared for councillors showed there have been at least 131 reports to Council meetings that could have been dealt with outside formal meetings.

“Reducing the amount of routine matters being presented to committee and consolidation of the six standing committees into one standing Coordination committee does not mean less openness or transparency.

“A key outcome of this change is to allow full report debate during the Coordination Committee meetings to be held as part of fortnightly General Meetings.

“Councillors will be nominated to one of ten portfolios as spokespersons to chair and lead discussion in open public forum.

“Three South-East Queensland Councils are now successfully operating this portfolio approach and meeting structures without traditional standing committees.

“These changes are about being more efficient and effective representative of our community and will be monitored and reviewed over the next year to gauge their success” Cr Williams said.

“The establishment of the new Cleveland CBD Revitalisation Special Committee is a measure of the major importance to Council of the revitalisation of Cleveland as a business and community centre.

“It will meet at least once every two months and operate from February to December 2013.”