Parkes Shire Council to meet once a month

ONCE A MONTH: Parkes Shire Council will now meet on the third Tuesday of every month.
ONCE A MONTH: Parkes Shire Council will now meet on the third Tuesday of every month.

Parkes councillors have agreed to trial holding their ordinary council meetings on the third Tuesday of every month.

The matter returned before Parkes Shire Council at its first meeting for the 2016-2020 term in September, for the new council to decide whether or not to continue to meet twice a month.

Traditionally council determined its meeting schedule in January each year, where for a number of years held two meetings per month.

But at its June 7 monthly meeting, the previous council put forward a recommendation for the new council to hold just one meeting a month, beginning with the third Tuesday in September.

It was also suggested they run their committee meetings, where possible, on the same day.

“That was the recommendation put forward but it’s up to the new council,” Cr Ken Keith told the September meeting.

Cr Pat Smith was happy with the recommendation.

“I’d like to start it and give it a go,” she said.

“It might free up some time for our directors.”

But Cr Louise O’Leary was more partial to the two meetings a month.

“I prefer to meet twice a month,” she said.

“As a full time worker I’d need to take the whole day off work, whereas the two meetings a month I can juggle work commitments and council.”

Cr O’Leary also said the two meetings would allow council to push DAs and urgent matters through quickly.

She suggested the decision be reviewed in six months’ time.

Cr Barbara Newton said she was happy to trial the once-a-month meetings but feared the bond between councillors would not be as strong if they changed.

“I’m worried we may lose that camaraderie that comes with the two meetings,” she said.

Cr Kenny McGrath also agreed to trial the third Tuesday of every month and said holding workshops before the meeting would be very beneficial.

The councillors agreed unanimously to change the meetings to once a month.

A report will be tabled in January to set the meeting schedule for 2017.

On a rotational basis, two council meetings are held in the shire’s villages every year, usually in March and September.

Council held meetings in Bogan Gate and Tullamore in 2016. Peak Hill and Trundle have been organised as the venues for next year.