Since August this year the Monthly Council Meetings are recorded (sound and video) and provided online via the Council’s website for replay. This is a great opportunity for locals who are interested in specific issues, to become more engaged with the process. Don’t expect to see outbursts like “question time”, Mayor Ruddock runs a dignified and respectful ship and this allows residents to air their views even if they totally oppose Council’s position.
At this month’s meeting we saw robust debate on Byles Creek, Berowra Pool, Design Excellence Review of the Planning Controls and the Affordable Housing Review.
It was pleasing to see the points and issues raised by resident speakers have an impact on the motions put forward. We clearly saw Councillors making amendments at the meeting to get a better outcome. Some matters were put out to public exhibition for further community input.
Whilst most residents appear to be disengaged from Federal, State and Local Council debates, due to the overwhelming feeling that “it makes no difference” I would encourage residents to engage more as this council is trying to listen and act.
1) Affordable Housing Discussion Paper – placed on public exhibition for 2 months for community consultation and input
2) Design Excellence Review of Planning Controls – placed on public exhibition for 28 days.
3) Accelerated LEP Review – watch out for a Council micro website to encourage community participation.
4) Byles Creek Land Acquisition Strategy – a report will be prepared for Council’s consideration on the studies required, timing and resource implications. Funds not required for above will be used to upgrade Cheltenham Oval. Any surplus funds (left over from the sale of 179 Beecroft Rd) to be used to fund other projects in 2119.
5) Berowra Pool Feasibility Report. Funding not approved.
6) Surveying the Community – using the rates notices sent to residents to encourage more community feedback via a survey. This was not approved.