Changes to coun­cil com­mit­tee and meet­ing times

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS - By PAM ZIERK-MAHONEY

IN an ef­fort to stream­line Mans­field Shire coun­cil­lors’ meet­ing times, coun­cil at its Fe­bru­ary meet­ing last week agreed to dis­band the De­vel­op­ment Ap­provals Com­mit­tee (DAC) and re­voke the in­stru­ment of del­e­ga­tion for this spe­cial com­mit­tee.

Coun­cil also voted to change the times of its or­di­nary meet­ing from 6pm to 5pm – to be ad­ver­tised be­fore com­mence­ment.

The De­vel­op­ment Ap­provals Com­mit­tee (DAC) of coun­cil was es­tab­lished in 2003 for the re­view of plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions that re­quired de­ci­sions not del­e­gated to coun­cil’s plan­ning of­fi­cers.

From 2003 to now coun­cil­lors have met one and a half hours prior to its gen­eral meet­ing each month to dis­cuss any plan­ning is­sues.

This meet­ing of­ten only lasted a mat­ter of five to 10 min­utes, with coun­cil­lors then sit­ting around for more than an hour wait­ing for the gen­eral meet­ing to com­mence.

Coun­cil­lor Paul Sladdin, un­der his port­fo­lio of plan­ning and en­vi­ron­ment, said it was of­ten un­nec­es­sary for coun­cil­lors to meet for this com­mit­tee and with the dis­band­ment would save them a lot of time.

“Sta­tis­tics for plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions and progress will still be re­ported but dur­ing the gen­eral coun­cil meet­ing,” Cr Sladdin said.

In the com­mit­tee’s early days al l pl an­ning ap­pli­ca­tions were hear d, but more r e c e nt l y a s a re­sult of in­creased del­e­ga­tions to of­fi­cers, only those ap­pli­ca­tions which in­volved ob­jec­tions or those r e c om­mended f or r e f usal , had been con­sid­ered by the com­mit­tee.

“The use of the or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing will en­sure that plan­ning mat­ters of both a statu­tory and strate­gic land use na­ture are con­sid­ered in the same fo­rum,” de­vel­op­ment ser­vices man­ager Michael Bis­mire told coun­cil last week.

Mr Bis­mire said he rec­om­mended that coun­cil con­sider dis­band­ing the DAC and re­voke the in­stru­ment of del­e­ga­tion.

“The or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing fo­rum will con­tinue to al­low both ap­pli­cants and ob­jec­tors to present their case in an en­vi­ron­ment that is sen­si­tive to the is­sues at hand,” Mr Bis­mire said.

He said pre­sent­ing plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions to coun­cil’s or­di­nary met­ing will stream­line pro­cesses of mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment, while still main­tain­ing a pub­lic fo­rum.

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