How Meetings are Run
The procedures followed at Council and Committee meetings are set down in the Local Government Act 1999 in Chapter 6, the Local Government (Procedures at Meetings) Regulations 2000 and in policies set by the City of Mitcham such as the Code of Practice - Meeting Procedures.
Council meetings must be conducted in an orderly manner. All points of view are to be expressed in fair and open discussion with all Council Members having the same opportunity to participate in the debate.
Decisions at Council meetings are decided by a majority of the votes of the Council Members present at the meeting and entitled to vote (unless a more specific voting requirement is legislated). Voting is generally by a show of hands. Each Council Member present at the meeting must vote on any matter for decision, except for the Mayor or in cases where a Council Member is precluded from doing so by the Local Government Act.
The Mayor will only vote if the numbers voting for and against are even.
The Local Government Act 1999 states that a Council must hold an ordinary meeting at least once a month. The dates, times, and places of meetings are chosen by Council.
The Chief Executive Officer must give notice of a meeting in writing including the date, time, place of meeting and supply an agenda for the meeting to all Council Members and a copy of the notice of meeting and agenda must be placed on public display at least three clear days before the date of the meeting.
The agenda is a list of items of business to be considered at the meeting.
The quorum for a Council meeting is the number obtained by dividing the total number of Council Members by two, and adding one.
Council meetings must commence as soon as possible after the appointed time if a quorum is present. If no quorum is present within 30 minutes of the nominated starting time of the meeting, the meeting will be adjourned and reconvened at a specified day and time.
Public Access to Council and Committee Meetings
Council and Committee meetings are held in public except in special and very limited circumstances. Section 90(3) of the Local Government Act 1999 sets out the special circumstances that a Council or Committee may order the public to be excluded from attendance at part of a meeting in order to receive, discuss or consider any information in confidence.
Minutes of the Meeting
Minutes of the meeting are recorded and include the names of everyone present, and the times they entered and left the meeting; details of all motions and amendments including the names of the mover and seconder and the outcome of the motion of amendment; any disclosure of interest made by a Council Member, and any personal explanation by a Member; and any order made under Section 90(2) and (3) and Section 91(7).
Minutes are available within five days after a Council or Committee meeting at the City of Mitcham Civic Centre, 131 Belair Road, Torrens Park, The Mitcham Library, 154 Belair Road, Hawthorn, the Blackwood Library, 215 Main Road, Blackwood and on the website.
The minutes of a meeting are to be confirmed at the next meeting. Decisions to take action resolved at a meeting and recorded in the minutes are not delayed until the minutes are confirmed.
Review of Council Decisions
Members of the Council make decisions that impact on the lives and livelihoods of individuals, organisations and businesses in the Council area and are accountable to the community for the decisions they make. The community has a right to know that the decisions have been made in an informed, responsible and socially just manner.
Any person is entitled to ask for a review of a decision made by Council, its employees or other persons acting on behalf of Council (Section 270). This process provides access by the community to a fair process for raising grievances and complaints, with confidence that these matters will be dealt with objectively, fairly and in a timely manner.