Many local governments operate using a system of committees to reduce the work at council meetings. These committees are established to consider specific aspects of a local government's operation, such as finance, works, community services or planning.
Committees then make recommendations to the full council.

Each committee usually includes a small number of councillors. Some committees include non-elected members such as employees, consultants or community members.

The number of meetings a councillor must attend each month will vary according to the frequency of council meetings and the number of committees on which the elected member sits. Most local governments have monthly or fortnightly council meetings.

Committee meetings may be held several days prior to the council meeting or on the same day.