How are decisions made?
Councils may consult with their community and call for feedback submissions at any time and for any subject. In addition, councils are required to consult with their local communities over teir financial planning and decision making.
All councils are required to publish a long-term plan (LTP) once every three years. The LTP describes the council’s activities, priorities and work programme for the next 10 years. It is a key planning tool that outlines everything a council intends to do, how it will fit together and what it will cost.
Councils need to distribute a summary of the draft LTP so that everyone in the community is aware of what is proposed and have the opportunity to make submissions. Submissions provide the council with important feed-back on its future direction and priorities.
In the two years when an LPT does not need to be produced, councils produce an annual plan. The annual plan sets out what the council plans to do in the next 12 months and how this relates to the most recent LTP. Like the LPT , the draft annual plan is open for public submissions.
Councils are also required to produce an annual report. This tells the community how the council performed in relation to the LTP and annual plan.
Both the LTP and annual plan are adopted before the start of the financial year in July. Annual reports must be adopted by the 31st of October each year. All LTP and annual report documents are audited.
All of these draft and final documents may be viewed on your council’s website.