What you may not know about Council decisions
Residents may not be aware that Liverpool City Council conducts scheduled briefing sessions for all Councillors, usually held five days before the next General Council Meeting. These sessions present critical information to Councillors that is often very difficult to convey via written information. Council Officers present reports on issues involving planning, finance, and Community services to be decided upon at the following Council Meeting.
During several Council terms 2008–2021, Cllr Harle and later 2016-2021, Cllr Rhodes rarely missed a briefing session or a Committee Meeting. Sadly, of the eleven Councillors, fewer than five attended on a regular basis.
That begs the question, how can non-attending Councillors make an informed decision when they do not know the full ramifications of the issues that come before Council?
There are more than 150 Council briefings and information sessions conducted in a Councillors’ term. Of those, LCIT Councillors attend the most. That information is readily verified from Councils’ published Annual Reports listing Councillors’ attendances at Council Meetings including briefing sessions and Committee Meetings conducted throughout the term of Council.
At these sessions, highly qualified Council staff, and relevant experts in their fields present reports that allow for questions and discussions. These often result in a better understanding of the issues involved. It would be very difficult for any Councillor not attending these briefing sessions to make an informed decision and one that is in the best interests of the community, irrespective of the length of service as a Councillor.
Council staff prepare detailed reports for briefing sessions and make recommendations which are usually limited to; “approval”, “refusal” or “note the report”, however during Councillor briefing sessions the initial recommendations may change due to additional information not previously taken into consideration.
Councillors not attending briefing sessions rely heavily on Councils’ written information and recommendations but may not realize the full ramifications of their decisions which often leads to debate in Council Meetings.
Overall Councillors agree upon most issues that come before Council, it is only the rare and controversial issues that attract media attention and tend to polarize Councillors and residents alike. I believe that Councillors attending regular briefing, training and information sessions have made the best possible decisions affecting most Liverpool residents.
As a Councillor I attend every possible Community Forum, Resident Action Group, Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAP), Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPP or SWCPP) as well as my many Council Committee representations. That allows me to make decisions that reflect those of the community. While they may not always be popular, in my humble opinion they are carried out to the best of my ability for most Liverpool’s 230,000 residents of which 90,000 are ratepayers and irrespective of any perceived political bias.
I am always willing to discuss any issue with residents and ratepayers alike, however, the outcome must be in the best interests of most of Liverpool ratepayers and residents.
Cr Peter Harle JP.
If you wish to discuss any of the above or any Council matter, feel free to contact me at any time you consider reasonable on;
Mobile: 0412 736 956 private email: Peter Harle or Councillor email: Councillor Harle