Deputy Mayor Sarah Free, who holds the Council’s Governance portfolio, says the City Council has to continue to provide services to help keep the city running during the lockdown – and the Council’s elected members still have to be able to meet to make decisions.
Until further notice, the Council will meet remotely, using Zoom computer software.
Deputy Mayor Free says on 26 March Parliament passed amendments to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act and the Local Government Act so there was no longer a requirement to have elected members physically in a room to achieve a quorum.
“This being the case, the Mayor and Councillors are eager to get back to holding formal meetings as soon as possible.”
Deputy Mayor Free says only important and urgent decisions are likely to be brought to Council or committee meetings during the National Emergency and lockdown. Agendas and minutes of each meeting will be published on the website as usual, along with video of the Zoom meetings.
The new schedule of meetings for April and early May is:
• extraordinary Council meetings on 9 (tomorrow) and 16 April at 2pm
• ordinary meetings of the Council on 23 and 30 April, and 7 May at 2pm.
The May programme of meetings remains unchanged at this time. However Cr Jill Day, who chairs the Strategy and Policy Committee, says timetables may be reviewed once the lockdown is over.
“We anticipate holding most if not all of our normal meetings, but we will need to take a careful look at the meetings scheduled and our forward programme to ensure we address the new challenges that will face the city,” she says.
“We may be facing the reality that life won’t return to the way it was for quite some time.”