To advise and assist the Council in its work by helping to develop, monitor and review council policy. Council policy lays out how the Council does its job in key areas, for example how it provides services such as housing, planning, transportation, the environment, economic development and recreation/culture.
The Strategic Policy Committee system is intended to give different sectors of the community, as well as Councillors, an opportunity for full involvement in the policy-making process.
The membership of Strategic Policy Committees consists of:
- Elected councillors
- Representatives of different sectors:
- The Public Participation Network – elects representatives from the Community & Voluntary, Social Inclusion and Environmental sectors to the Strategic Policy Committees.
- The Chamber of Commerce – appoints representatives from the Business/Commercial sector and the Development/Construction sector
- Trade Unions
- Farming or agricultural organisations
The purpose of having representatives from different sectors is to bring additional knowledge, experience and expertise to the Strategic Policy Committees.
Strategic Policy Committees prepare the groundwork for policies and make recommendations to Council about policies. Policy positions agreed by Strategic Policy Committees are sent to the full council for approval at a council meeting. Ultimately final policy decisions rest with the full Council.
- The Council can refer work to the Strategic Policy Committees.
- Work is also referred to the Strategic Policy Committees by the Corporate Policy Group. The Corporate Policy Group consists of the Chief Executive, the Cathaoirleach, and the chairs of each of the Strategic Policy Committees, who are always councillors.
- Members of a Strategic Policy Committee can propose items related to policy for the future agenda of the Committee. They can also ask questions of the Chief Executive to which they are given a written reply.
- Strategic Policy Committees also receive updates and presentations on the work of the Council and other agencies.
Strategic Policy Committees generally meet four times a year.