A council is a democratically elected body that provides local government for a specific geographic area within a State. Local councils comprise a third tier of government, in addition to Federal and State governments, and are generally regarded as closest to the people. In Western Australia, councils are established and operate under the Local Government Act 1995.
A council exercises a wide range of government functions and powers for the "good government" of persons in its municipal district. There are approximately 140 local councils in Western Australia.
Each has between six and 15 elected members as well as council staff who implement council decisions and provide services. The Town of Cambridge has an independently elected Mayor and eight councillors.
How councils operate
Each council comprises the elected council that meets on a regular basis to make decisions that are in the interests of their community, plus the administrative organisation that delivers services and ensures council decisions are implemented.
The Town of Cambridge holds its committee meetings during the third week of each month and council meetings on the fourth Tuesday commencing at 6pm.
The meeting schedule is subject to review occasionally and changes are notified by advertisement in local newspapers. Council meetings are open to the public and the attendance of residents, ratepayers and other interested parties is welcome.
All elected members are elected for a four-year term, following elections in all municipalities throughout the State on the third Saturday in October. They receive an allowance to assist them to exercise their responsibilities on a part-time basis and are expected to behave in accordance with the council's code of conduct.