The Council & Committees
Council Meetings and Decisions
Formal Council meetings are held in public, unless they are discussing confidential issues, such as commercially sensitive or confidential information relating to individuals, e.g., staff members. Meetings usually take place on a Wednesday evening, from 7.30pm, in the Sportsman meeting room, found at Birchwood Leisure Centre.
- At the start of all scheduled meetings, 15 minutes are set aside for public questions.
- Agendas and papers for Council meetings are usually published a week in advance.
There are provisions to call extraordinary meetings, which are designed to determine and discuss specific issues. At these meetings, the agenda is reduced to focus solely on these issues. Where possible, a week’s notice will be given to inform all attendees of this agenda change.
Each year the Council also hosts an Annual Town Meeting. This takes place towards the end of the municipal year (May – April) and is an opportunity for councillors to report to residents what has happened in the last year, and to outline plans for the upcoming municipal year.
Hatfield Town Council avoids holding meetings that are open to the public during school holidays and is prohibited from doing so during pre-election periods (i.e., the weeks leading up to local and national elections). For local elections, this usually means a period beginning in the last week of March and ending the Monday after the election, on the first Thursday of May.
Meetings are conducted in line with the adopted Standing Orders. The Standing Orders, along with the Financial Regulations document and Committees’ Terms of Reference, also govern how decisions are made at Hatfield Town Council.
The Town Council has two main committees. The first is the Resources, Operations and Estate Management Committee, which looks after Hatfield Town Council’s budget, operational strategy and investment options. The second is the Planning, Environment and Policy Committee, which considers planning applications in the area being consulted upon, the impact of new policies being introduced by Hertfordshire County Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and identifying what improvements can be made to the area in the future. The current list of Hatfield Town Council’s standing committees and their members can be found here.
From time to time, the Council (or one of its committees) will set up a sub-committee or ‘task and finish group’ to take new ideas or a particular project forward. These groups will then report back to the main committee or straight to Council as progress is made.