How councils make decisions
Councils are empowered by law, to make decisions on many matters of importance to their local communities. Decisions may be made in formally constituted council meetings, or under delegations approved by the council. Individually neither the mayor nor councillors have the legal authority to act or make decisions on behalf of the council.
Council decisions are made by the votes of the majority of the councillors present at a meeting. The Local Government Act and Council Local Laws set most requirements for council meetings. Meetings are open to the public.
Delegated decision making
As well as making decisions at formal council meetings, councils also delegate some decision making ability. This makes it possible for a council organisation to deal with the many issues it faces in its day to day operation. Delegated decision making power may be given to special committees of council and to nominated council officers.
Personal interests and confidentiality
Councils make decisions about sensitive commercial and other matters, and special requirements apply to certain information to ensure it is not inappropriately handled or misused.
What contributes to a council decision
There are various processes that contribute to good council decision making. Some of these are formal, structured and continuous links with the council, while others are informal.