Community participation in Council processes should be a critical component of our local democracy.

Council should hear the community’s views and seek to respond to them.

One of the first actions of the current Council was to halve the number of meetings held. Council has since made decisions that did not reflect community values or sentiment. Community intervention could have stopped those mistakes.

We need more scrutiny, transparency, and accountability.

There should be a provision or opportunity for community members to take part in Council Meetings. Being able to ask questions is important. And it generates an acceptable level of transparency and accountability.

Facilitating and encouraging public participation instils confidence in local government. The outcome is a closer relationship between Council and its community.

Its unacceptable Council meetings do not provide an opportunity for residents to ask questions. It is 2021, a time when the average person can hit a button on their phone to live-stream to the world.

I am calling on Council to let residents ask questions, I am calling on Council to hold at least one meeting a month in the evening.

By looking at ways to be inclusive of our residents and using remarkably simple technology like live-streaming monthly meetings, you can immediately reach our constituents – and engage them in a transparent way.

We are the third largest council area in the country and our region is vast.

It is time to get real community participation and council working for all of us.