Council bid for outside advice

DERWENT Valley Council will decide on Thursday if five new advisory bodies including community representatives and a councillor should be established to guide decision making in the future. If approved, up to five members of the community with lived or professional experience will be invited to apply for a position on the advisory body and guide Council decisions.

The advisory categories will include categories of Arts, Culture and Heritage; Environment and Sustainability; Health, Wellbeing and Belonging; Sport and Recreation; Economic Development and Tourism; and Planning and Infrastructure. The groups will replace previous boards and groups which advised on a more micro level.

After the October local government elections, elected candidates will be appointed as “portfolio councillors’’ to lead discussion, consultation and advise on key areas in cooperation with local community members. The Council agenda said after consulting with the community, Council adopted the Governance Framework, Core Terms of Reference – Advisory Bodies, and Councillor Portfolio Policy in June 2022. “The Governance Framework defines the purpose of each advisory body and the role of the Portfolio Councillor,’’ it said.

“Council is striving to create advisory bodies with compositions that include a diversity of complementary skills, expertise, networks, lived experience, cultural, social, identity and other diversity markers that can help bring new insights and perspectives that lead to better informed decision-making. “The new governance structure aligns with Council’s Community Engagement Framework, providing councillors with access to subject matter expertise and skills, which will help enable more informed decision-making.’’ Community members appointed to advise would receive an allowance of $500 a year.

Those nominating to be part of an advisory body would need to demonstrate an understanding of the subject area and opportunities relevant to the Derwent Valley, professional or lived experience, or skills relevant to the portfolio subject area and an ability to provide advice to the Council. Council will discuss the motion on Thursday at 6pm.