City of Unley’s new Committee Structure, the ground breaking initiative of our CEO Peter Tsokas, has experienced its first teething problems.
All new systems will experience teething problems and our new committee structure is no exception. Public & Councillors alike were confused by recommendations put to Council by the re-badged UBED committee.
The Unley Business & Economic Development (UBED) comprises not only elected members and representatives of our various street trader associations but experts, selected to provide us valuable guidance in matters relevant to the committee.
This committee agreed at its last meeting that it felt it should provide input to council on two issues, including the local heritage DPA. It seems that their recommendations, which at the end of the day were in the form of no decision motions which were just requests to ensure certain factors were considered by council when deciding on the final DPA.
Council has delegated this function to one of its three major committees, the Development, Strategy & Policy Committee (DSP). This committee recently heard submissions from a number of residents, businesses and from FOCUS amongst others.
Cometh the problem!
UBED is a section 41 committee and can only report and make recommendations or suggestions to Council. That meant Council had to receive the motion (rather than UBED talk direct to DSP) and to pass this onto the DSP committee to include in their deliberations. Unwieldy perhaps but it could be, as far as I can make out, no other way.
So UBED pass a motion and Council had to receive it and form their own motion to pass it onto DSP.
In doing it this way councillors and FOCUS both felt that UBED was circumventing DSP and that in accepting the motion the Local Heritage DPA Council would be usurping the DSP and ignoring the submissions of those who represented to the DSP.
On behalf of Council and the UBED committee I apologise for this misunderstanding.
As a member of both Committees I can assure everyone that all UBED was doing was making sure economic issues it identified are considered. I can also assure that the DSP will take on all points raised before it.
And as member of Council I can assure everyone that Council has the final say. And when I mean final say I mean the final say of what goes to the Minister for Planning, John Rau.
Let’s face HE HAS THE FINAL SAY.
PS We will be looking at the Local Government Act to see if there is another way that this communication can occur in future without raising undue concerns for whomever.