A more efficient governance structure, adopted today by the Ashburton District Council, boosts the membership of three key Council Committees and sets in place a new four-weekly meeting schedule.
Membership of the Finance and Business Support; Environmental Services; and Service Delivery Committees has been increased to 12 Councillors and the Mayor (ex officio). Instead of retaining the six-weekly meeting cycle, Council has also voted for four-weekly meetings.
Mayor Angus McKay said, "Even though there will be more meetings, they will be shorter and more streamlined, making for a more efficient way of working and better decision making. One of the most important features of these changes is that elected members will be able to consider everything coming from the Council committees well before the full Council meeting."
Generally, the committees will now meet on the second Thursday of the month and the Council on the fourth Thursday of the month. The Methven Community Board is meeting on 17 August to confirm its support for either a four or eight weekly meeting cycle.
The Council was required to review its current structure, approved in October 2013, midway through its term. Two workshops in May and June this year clarified the Council's preferences. Agreement was reached in June for a four-weekly meeting schedule.
As part of the review, the Mayor met with Councillors individually to fine-tune the appointments schedule. "One of the results of these discussions has been that policy review is now the responsibility of a new Bylaw and Policy Subcommittee. Other subcommittees have also been condensed to reduce the potential for work to be duplicated," Mr McKay said.
Council will have the option to review the governance structure again in its next triennium.