Role of Elected Members
Elected Members are required to represent the views and interests of residents and ratepayers to Council and, in turn, explain Council policy and decisions to residents. The role of an Elected Member is to serve as a bridge between residents and the Council.
Elected Members have no authority to act or make decisions on behalf of the Council. This may only be done at properly-constituted Council meetings.
Elected Member obligations
The role of Elected Members are set out in the Local Government Act and include:
- dual role - as a member of the governing body and as a person elected to Council as a member of the governing body
- act with integrity
- ensure positive and constructive relationships within the Council
- recognise and support the Principal Member
- develop skills relevant to role and functions
- participate in deliberations and activities of the Council
- keep the Council’s budget and service delivery under review
- participate in the oversight of CEO performance under the employment contract
- serve the overall public interest
- as a person elected to the Council
- to represent the interests of residents and ratepayers
- provide community leadership and guidance
- facilitate communication between the community and the council
- no direct authority over an employee
What does an Elected Member do?
- represents the interests of residents and ratepayers
- provides community leadership and guidance, and facilitates communication between the community and the Council
- possess an awareness of the wants and needs of the local community as a whole
- always prepared to review and initiate new Council policies and activities as these needs change and evolve
- is familiar with the entire Council area.
Elected Member experiences
Staying in touch with electors and residents is an important role of an Elected Member, and because of this they are encouraged to experience the following:
- attend meetings of local organisations
- participate in a range of local activities
- be available to residents who want to discuss concerns and ideas
- respond to residents when they raise issues
- follow up on any inquiries or complaints which they may receive
- keep informed about state and national current affairs which will give you a broader view of issues that may affect the Council.
Elected Members meet as a Council to set policy and strategy. As a Council they can direct the Chief Executive Officer, however, they cannot direct any Council staff member.