Councils can use community consultation to help them make important decisions. Most consultation methods used by councils include the opportunity for direct participation from the community. The Local Government Act requires councils to call for public submissions in a number of circumstances outlined under Statutory consultation.
Individual councillors are already likely to have well developed networks of community contacts and involvements. They attend community meetings and events, hold ward or community forums and represent the council at community functions.
As a result of being available and approachable in this way, a councillor may be asked to bring matters of concern to an individual or a group to the attention of the council. Depending on the issue, such a request might be:
Councils maintain contacts with other authorities that can impact on decisions about council activities. Key contacts include:
Councils also participate in broader groups and processes that can have an impact on their decisions. Examples include council membership of: