Proposed changes to the “Councils Code of Meeting Practice”.
Adopts the Code of Meeting Practice with the alteration to place the video recording of Council Meetings onto the Council website for a period of no less than 12 months for full public access.
Reason for the motion:
The changes to the ACT that instruct Councils to make available the recordings of Council Meetings on their websites was for the intention of creating greater inclusive, transparency accountability and accessibility for the community that Councils serve.
Council Meetings are held mid-week at the busiest time for our constituents who pay rates, vote and have a genuine interest in how Council is best serving them.
In Liverpool we have over 80% of constituents who must leave the Liverpool LGA each day to work.
At the time our Council meetings are being “live streamed” on our Council website, most residents are not at home from work. When they do get home, they are busy providing family meals and preparing for work or school for the next day.
In Liverpool we have one of the highest number of constituents with a disability or people in need of domestic care and personal help.
I looked after my father for the last five years of his life and know how busy it is for carers at that time, they are not available at the time Council live streams the Council Meetings.
In Liverpool we have a high percentage of constituents who work night shift and so are not able to view the live stream.
We pride ourselves on being a Health and Education Hub and yet Doctors, Nurses, Educators, Students, Night Time shift workers and Hospitality workers all people who work nights are being excluded if we do not upload video recordings onto the website. That is the only way they can engage, at a time when they are available.
This Council has nothing to hide from our constituents, by limiting the access to the recording of Council Meetings, that is the first thing Constituents say, “What is Liverpool Council hiding”?
The recordings of Council meetings are there to validate and substantiate the written minutes. The recordings cannot undermine the minutes of the meetings as councillors were previously advised. In writing the minutes of Council Meetings the recordings of the meetings are often referenced to ensure accuracy of those minutes, that is not undermining but is validating the written minutes.
Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at the University of Technology, Associate Professor Roberta Ryan, said research showed that people held their councils in higher regard when they had more contact and more exposure to what their councils did.
It is difficult to necessarily understand the range of things that councils do – or the complexity of the decisions that they must take – if you are not involved with Councils.
Other Councils who have embraced the opportunity to better engage with their community through making the video recordings available on their websites are Wollongong, Northern Beaches, Wollondilly, Inner West Council, with Parramatta and Campbelltown set to implement by next year.
General Manager of Northern Beaches Council Mark Ferguson said webcasting encouraged the community to understand and be involved with local issues.
Our neighbouring Councils Wollondilly, Mayor Judith Hannan said, “This is a great accomplishment for council as it is one step closer to bringing the Wollondilly community closer together”.
Wollondilly Council’s general manager Luke Johnson said webcasting council meetings is an excellent way to enhance access to the democratic decision-making process.
Local government has a very broad range of responsibilities and makes decisions that can affect the whole community.
Uploading the video recording onto Council’s website will provide Liverpool Council
the opportunity to;
- Extend its transparency and public involvement in council processes
- Increase the value of our relationship between council and our community
- Allow everyone equal and inclusive access to the opportunity to observe the decision-making process regardless of meeting time.
Up-loading the video recordings onto the Council website is the democratic thing to do, it is the right thing to do I ask all Councillors to endorse this motion.
Councillors who supported the motion:
Peter Harle, Mazhar Hadid, Tony Hadchiti, Charishma Kaliyanda and Karress Rhodes.
Councillors who voted against the motion:
Nathan Hagarty, Ali Karnib, Geoff Shelton, Tina Ayyard and Mayor Wendy Waller who voted twice against the motion to deliver a result for Council and ensure that the above motion was defeated.
South Ward Councillor, Liverpool City Council
North Ward Councillor, Liverpool City Council
31st May 2019