Update concerns councillor
CR FERN SUMMER IS WORRIED CHANGES ARE TOO SUBJECTIVE
Local council meetings may become more spectator friendly with a recent update to process, but one Shepparton councillor argues one clause has the potential to ‘‘stif le debate’’.
Greater Shepparton City Council’s local law sketching out processes for council meetings has been updated.
But former deputy mayor Fern Summer argued against the changes.
At a recent meeting where the council adopted local law relating to procedures for council meetings, Cr Summer spoke at length against the updated document, pointing out a number of concerns she had with the update.
Cr Summer questioned the process for councillors to submit a notice of motion as well as the process via which they could be rejected from being included in the council meeting agenda on the basis of vagueness.
‘‘I just find that it’s too subjective . . . If you have a less than generous interpretation you can potentially stifle debate,’’ she said.
Cr Summer also aired concern around rules on the validity of e-petitions.
Chief executive Peter Harriott said the updated procedures document would be followed at this month’s council meeting.
Following last month’s meeting, Mayor Kim O’Keeffe welcomed any updates that made meetings more accessible and said councillors were typically given the chance to amend a notice of motion if it was deemed vague or unclear.
The updated procedures document had been on public exhibition, which attracted two submissions, one of which was heard at a special meeting of council. Concerned:
Cr Fern Summer thinks an updated clause has the potential to stifle debate.