Live streaming of fuller Council meetings on the agenda
In a move to improve efficiency, transparency and public engagement, council resolved to undertake a six month trial of live webcasting of its meetings.
At the first meeting of the new council on 25 May, the Administrator called for a report on the potential to webcast meetings to provide the community with an additional and convenient means of seeing the decision-making processes of council first-hand. That report was presented to council tonight.
The trial will include the installation of fixed cameras in both the Gosford and Wyong Civic Centres, with images and audio live streamed via the internet.
Council will continue to alternate meetings between Gosford and Wyong Civic Centres.
A further public exhibition will get underway shortly to gauge community views on webcasting and also a proposal to hold monthly instead of fortnightly meetings.
Councils are required to hold at least ten meetings a year. If Council does adopt this strategy it will bring it in line with a number of other councils across the State.
Administrator Reynolds said council is seeking to find efficiencies in staff time so they can focus on community service delivery rather than turning around reports for meetings every two weeks.
“The reality is we have a big job to do in bringing the two organisations together and I want staff to be getting on with the job of service delivery rather than report writing,” Mr Reynolds said.
“By moving to monthly meetings, members of the community will be able to see a fuller agenda.”
If a monthly meeting schedule is adopted by council, following the community consultation process, then the first live-streamed council meeting would be held on Wednesday 26 October 2016 at Gosford Chambers.
Then meetings would be held on the fourth Wednesday of the month, alternating between Wyong and Gosford Chambers until the next Central Coast Council Local Government elections in September 2017.
Administrator Reynolds said council is continually engaging with the community about what they want, so they are involved in every step of the decision making process before it gets to council.
“And now with live webcasting they will get to see what the final decision is without having to be physically in the chamber which is a great outcome for the Central Coast community,” Mr Reynolds said.
Development Application processes to be unified for the Central Coast
Council tonight set out an updated policy in relation to processing Development Applications (DAs) which will now go out for public comment.
This process is based on the former Wyong Shire Council’s policy in respect of determining DAs and is proposed to be extended to cover the whole Central Coast.
Under the policy, all DAs with more than 100 public submissions (not including petitions) will be reported to a council meeting for consideration unless the application is recommended for refusal or unless sufficient changes have been made to the proposal to adequately address issues raised by the community.
DAs with fewer than 100 public submissions could be determined by staff under delegated authority.
The Administrator can also call up a DA at any time for deliberation at a formal council meeting.
Any person making an objection to a DA will be advised of the decision whether the decision is made under delegated authority or by council.
Administrator Reynolds said there were currently different approaches to processing DAs in the two former council areas.
“This is about adopting one uniform approach so the community is clear about the process,” Mr Reynolds said.
“I welcome comment from the community on this proposal to introduce uniform guidelines and indeed all development applications.”
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Last updated : Wed 18 Jul 2018
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