Stirling council: Communication sparks heated debate

Stirling council: Communication sparks heated debate

STIRLING councillors will hold a workshop on the elected members’ communication policy in 2020.

Cr Felicity Farrelly, who was elected on to the council this year, proposed a review of the policy and for a report to the council at the December 3 council meeting.

The policy, which was last reviewed in 2018, was already due for a review in 2020.

Under the policy, an elected member who wanted to make a personal statement relating to a council decision or local issue needed approval from the mayor.

Elected members have a legal duty of fidelity to act in the best interests of the council and the City, and must not make public comments that are detrimental to the City.

Cr Elizabeth Re described the policy as “ad hoc” as she had seen many comments made by councillors in the media that had been against the policy.

She said they were not sent to the Local Government Standards Panel like she was previously.

Mayor Mark Irwin said no one in his time as mayor had been sent to the panel.

Deputy Mayor Bianca Sandri said her requests to talk to the media had not been denied by Mr Irwin or chief executive Stuart Jardine.

After a heated debate, Cr David Boothman’s procedural motion for a workshop was passed.

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