The Bellingen Shire Council plans to revise its Local Preference Policy for procurement, and is going to use a citizens’ panel to do so. Local procurement is an issue that the Chamber Board has been pursuing with Council for some time, so we are delighted that this is happening, and that Council is looking for a more effective way to engage the community.
What is a citizens’ panel?
The idea is to assemble a group of people who are representative of those in the Shire (a citizens’ panel), to deal with one or more issues. The panel then meets, reads background papers, speaks to experts, asks questions etc, so that they’re really up to speed on the issue in question. The panel can then recommend an approach that the Shire should take in dealing with the issue. Melbourne City Council used this approach very successfully (http://tinyurl.com/jhth36g). The panel proposed for Bellingen Shire is on a smaller scale (it will meet only once, for half a day, and will deal with only the issue of the Local Preference Policy).
How do I get involved?
Participants on the panel will be chosen from the Council’s Create site (http://create.bellingen.nsw.gov.au/), so if you’d like to be involved, sign up by Wednesday 13 September 2017. Also, if you have any knowledge of the benefits of local procurement and would like to be involved in preparing a summary for the panel, please contact Hilary Cadman (firstname.lastname@example.org).