Have you ever asked yourself, “how does local government work?” Many people are unaware of the complexities involved in making local government decisions. It is important to understand the different parts of local government and the processes that are involved. In this article, we will explore council structure, laws, committees and other intricacies of local government.
Councils are typically made up of councillors elected by their community – either in a local election or appointed. Depending on the size of the council and the state or territory in which it resides, this can be anywhere from three councillors up to fifteen or more.
Along with elected members, local government also employs a wide range of staff, who are responsible for taking care of day-to-day operations. These staff members are multi-skilled and resourceful professionals, who help to make sure that decisions made by the elected representatives are carried out.
Councils are typically separated into ‘divisions’, with different areas specialising in water supply, waste management, planning and development, and road maintenance. Each division usually has a head of department – typically the CEO of the council – who is responsible for making key decisions.
Under the Local Government Act, each local council must have a legal framework and processes in place. Each council must have certain laws in place that dictate how decisions are made, and what actions councillors and staff should take in certain situations.
The laws of local government must provide a fair and equal system for decision-making and must take into consideration the interests of the entire community. They must also ensure that legislation and policies are followed.
Each local council also has a set of plans and strategies, which are put in place to guide the development of the council and its services. These plans and strategies are reviewed and updated each year, to ensure that they remain relevant and up-to-date with current needs.
Local councils also set up committees to provide advice on specific issues. These committees can include citizens from the local community and can have specialised knowledge in certain areas.
Committees are important for the local council, as they can provide an impartial and independent point of view. They can provide advice on certain areas, ranging from environmental protection to planning and development.
Committees can also provide a sense of transparency and openness. By inviting citizens to take part in these committees, local government can ensure that decisions are not made in secret.
Overall, local government is an intricate and complicated process, but by understanding its structure, governance processes, and committees, we may gain a greater appreciation of our local government and its decisions.