Brighton Council open to and transparent with its community

BRIGHTON Council encourages ratepayers to attend Council meetings and the Mayor, Councillors and senior staff meet regularly with community groups and individuals to discuss key issues.

Mayor Tony Foster said Brighton was recognised as a leading council in the State for transparency of its operations, in keeping its community informed about Council business and in engaging with its community on important issues.

“For example, all Council meetings are open except for the small number of discussions that must be closed for legal reasons or confidentiality,” Cr Foster said.

“But in addition, unlike most Tasmanian councils, we publish a monthly newspaper, The Brighton Community News, which contains details of Brighton Council’s decisions and other important local government matters, as well as information from local community organisations and groups. The newspaper invites contributions from the community and is an important communication vehicle for Brighton.”

Cr Foster said although councils were not obliged to table finance reports, most did so every six months. However, Brighton tabled its finance reports more regularly, usually each month. The General Manager also reports on activities and key decisions are publicised in media releases and in The Brighton Community News. All documents not deemed confidential under law, are publicly available.

“Brighton Council has received unqualified endorsement from the Auditor-General’s Office for more than 20 years, with the Auditor General also reviewing and approving the Council’s agendas and minutes on an annual basis.

“The fact that all sitting Brighton Councillors have been returned at the past three local government elections is testimony to the fact that ratepayers are more than satisfied with the Council’s performance and transparency.

“We are recognised as being fully compliant with the provisions of the Local Government Act, have maintained the highest average surpluses in trend terms, have the lowest rates per capita, the lowest staffing ratio and have won numerous awards for local government achievement and excellence.

“That is something for which our Council and the community can take enormous pride.”

Cr Foster said Brighton Council regarded transparency and proper governance extremely importantly.

“We have a dedicated senior manager responsible for corporate governance and we are committed to ensuring the highest possible standards of probity, accountability and transparency.

“All Councillors receive induction briefings and training and in fact, have signed off on this.

“As Tasmania’s longest-serving Mayor, I have seen many changes at Brighton and in Tasmanian local government generally.

“I can say proudly that Brighton’s position as one of the best performing councils in Tasmania is well-deserved and ratepayers can be assured that both the Council and our management team are continually working to ensure that we maintain our high standards.

“On behalf of the Council, I invite ratepayers and community members to attend Council meetings, witness our deliberations and see our commitment to good governance in action,” Cr Foster said.