AMENDED NOTICE OF COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2020
Due to COVID-19 the Council Meeting scheduled for Monday 21 September 2020 commencing at 10.00am will take place in the St Helens Council Chambers however due to the Public Health Guidelines with COVID-19 unfortunately at this stage the Council Meeting will preclude public attendance.
Due to this situation the public will be unable to attend the meeting to ask questions during Public Question Time, to ensure questions can still be asked, questions can be submitted prior to the meeting and they will be read out at the meeting. Questions must be received by no later than 9.00am on Monday 21 September 2020.
Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org; or be hand delivered and dropped in the mail box at the front of the Council Chambers at 32-34 Georges Bay Esplanade, St Helens alternatively they can be mailed to the same address.
A public recording of the meeting will be placed on Councils website as soon as practicable after the meeting.
Scheduled Council Meetings for this year
All Council meetings are held at the Council Chambers and start at 10am.
Monday 20 January
Monday 17 February
Monday 16 March
Monday 20 April
Monday 18 May
Monday 22 June
Monday 20 July
Monday 17 August
Monday 21 September
Monday 19 October
Monday 16 November
Monday 21 December
Thinking of attending a Council Meeting? Check out these Frequently asked Questions below.
- Can anyone attend a Council Meeting?
- What is the protocol for attending a Council meeting?
- How do I ask a question at a Council meeting?
- What is a meeting agenda?
- How are decisions made?
- What if there is a pecuniary or conflict of interest for a Councillor?
- What is a closed meeting?
A Council meeting is a formal process where decisions are made for the municipality by its elected members and is open to the public. Each meeting allows 15 minutes at the start of each meeting for Public Question time.
As it is a formal process, public attendees must behave in a respectful manner which includes:
- Turning off your mobile phone
- Only speaking when directed to by the Mayor or acting chair of the meeting
- Can only speak to ask questions during Public Question Time – no general statements are allowed
- No debating the point with Councillors
- No bad language or defamatory comments
Members of the public can be ejected from a meeting if they are found to be in breach of any of the above.
There are a couple of ways you can ask Council a question in a meeting;
The preferred method is to present the question to Council within seven days of the Council meeting. This way it can be recorded in the agenda and formally addressed at the meeting. It also allows the Councillors time to consider your question.
The other way is to ask your question during the Public Question Time segment of the meeting and present a copy of your question in writing to the Executive Assistant at the start of the meeting on the day. This will mean that your question will be recorded in the minutes and in most cases will be taken on notice and a response provided in the minutes and forwarded to you.
The Mayor can refuse to accept a question at the meeting and reasons for doing so will be given and recorded in the minutes.
Before every Council meeting a Meeting agenda is prepared which outlines all the motions and topics that will be discussed in the meeting. It includes relevant reports and information to help Councillors make decisions. Our meeting agendas are made available to the public on our website here, are available from the office or can be viewed at the St Marys or St Helens Library and the St Helens History Room
Councillors present at the meeting will vote for or against each motion presented at the meeting with the majority vote deciding the outcome of the motion. If there is a tied vote the motion is deemed as “Lost”.
There is no abstaining from votes as such, if a Councillor abstains from voting it is counted as a No vote.
If a Councillor has a Pecuniary or Conflict of Interest with any item presented at a Council Meeting they must declare this. Depending on the level of interest they will often leave the room. This will be recorded in the minutes.
Council can close a meeting to the public and any non-relevant staff without discussion to consider; personnel matters concerning particular individuals, matters involving personal hardship of a resident or ratepayer, or matters that breach confidentiality agreements, for example contractors and tenders.
Common reasons why a Council meetings may be closed includes:
- personnel matters including complaints against staff of the Council
- industrial matters relating to a person
- the health or financial position of any person
- contracts for the supply and purchase of goods and services
- the security of property of the Council
- proposals for the Council to acquire land or an interest in the land or for the disposal of land
- information provided to the Council on the condition it is kept confidential
- trade secrets of private bodies
- matters relating to actual or possible litigation taken by or involving the Council or an employee of the Council