BASSENDEAN Council voted to review the Town’s current communication and consultation policy and develop a new strategy at last month’s council meeting. Councillors passed Cr Renee McLennan’s notice of motion for Council to engage a consultant to facilitate a complete review of the Town’s current policy and associated practices.
Cr McLennan also proposed for a new strategy to be developed by the consultant, community and Town staff, training for key staff and councillors following the local government elections in October and allocate funding in the draft budget. Officer reports would now require a section titled “communication and engagement” that identified how the community had been or would be consulted.
According to Cr McLennan’s report, the policy was due for review where improvements and significant amendments were required.
The report referred to the Local Government Act 1995, which described a councillor’s role to represent the interests of electors, ratepayers and residents and to facilitate communication between the community and the council. “In order to effectively fulfil these roles, it is essential that Council ensures best practice communication strategies are utilised when interacting with the residents and ratepayers of the Town,” the report said.
According to an officer’s report, the matters raised in the motion could be considered at the workshops where policies would be reviewed in March.
Staff have been in discussions with a contractor about community engagement and relevant software.