A REVISION of Horsham Rural City Council’s meeting procedures has been delayed for a second time.
A decision on the proposed procedural changes was postponed at a meeting on September 18 and again on October 2.
Councillor Mark Radford told the October 2 meeting that the council had been unable to review the procedures as a collective group of seven councillors.
Crs Alethea Gulvin and John Robinson were absent from the September 18 meeting.
“We were going to vote on (the meeting procedure) at the last meeting, but Cr (David) Grimble moved for it to be delayed to allow all councillors to be involved,” he said.
“We do need to sit on it a bit longer, but I do not think we will get to the point where we agree on every item.”
The council’s director of corporate services Graeme Harrison said in a report to council that the proposed changes would set general standards expected during the formal meeting processes.
He said the proposed changes aimed to address how the debate on matters before the council were managed.
Mr Harrison said the changes intended to encourage community participation in local government by allowing the council to determine its views and expectations and enable the community to be involved in council meetings.
The council had also discussed recording future meetings.
“Council has discussed this matter and wishes to commence with the audio recording of future council meetings to maintain a fuller publicly accessible record and to stream these live to the community when technology has been put in place,” Mr Harrison said.
Cr Robinson said the proposed changes offered “terrific opportunities”.
He said the idea of recording meetings was an excellent one and suggested the council record other meetings for reference, but not for public consumption.
But despite the benefits, Cr Robinson said there were some limitations to the proposed changes.
“I think there is more thinking to be done and we can certainly come up with a process that services the community, now and into the future,” he said.
Cr Grimble said it was important to have clear strategies that allowed for topics on the council meeting agenda to be debated appropriately in an open forum.
He said recording meetings would ensure accuracy.
“If I make a comment in open council, then I have no problem with that being printed or reported in the media – providing that it is accurate,” he said.