Mid Term Review of Committees

Council will soon be considering the mid term review of committee representation.

On this occasion however we will be looking at an entirely new committee and advisory group structure. One that will hopefully streamline processes and staff time, but also provides an opportunity to better address and represent the functions of council.

It is likely, if accepted, to see three committees of 4 elected members each addressing specific functions in lieu of the current City Strategy & Policy Committee, which has very member of Council sit on it.

And we are also likely to see the election from within our ranks of a Deputy Mayor.

It is likely to be decided at our next Council meeting on Monday 26th November.

Independant Members for Next DAP Advertised

City of Unley has advertised for people who may have an interest in joining the next Development Assessment Panel to apply.

Membership of the Panel is for a two year term. The Council is looking to appoint 4 independent members to the panel, commencing December 2012.

Members should have a reasonable knowledge of the Development Act 1993 and the City of Unley Development Plan and have appropriate qualifications or experience in relevant fields, which may include Planning Law, Heritage, Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Design, Town Planning, Arboriculture, Environment Planning and/or traffic management.

If you have any queries contact our Manager Development, Mr Paul Weymouth on 8372 5432.

Community of Possibilities-We want your View

That’s the challenge being put to Unley residents, businesses – even visitors – as Unley Council looks to redraw its Community Plan for the city.

“We’re asking the Unley community to think about the possibilities, the smart ideas we could bring into our city’s new Community Plan; A Community of Possibilities!” said Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne.

“We’re proud of what we already have in Unley, but we know there must be things we could do better – and maybe we can find some incredibly smart ideas that could be really inspirational for our community.”

Mayor Clyne said Unley had an innovative council with a strong commitment to cultural transformation both inside and outside the council.

“This is all about drawing on the collective imagination of our community, giving the bright sparks in our midst a chance to fire up the city,” he continued.
Every household, business and community organisation in Unley will receive a “Community of Possibilities” brochure that outlines four themes for consideration:

  • Emerging: How to stimulate economic development and take advantage of innovative trends;
  • Living: Finding better ways of community engagement and participation, main street planning and better community services;
  • Moving: What local government might do to ease traffic congestion, how it might improve footpaths, roads and bikeways, and how it can make things more accessible to all; and
  • Greening: About environmental renewal, creative open spaces, Unley’s parks and gardens, water and energy conservation, and how Council can plan for these things.
 Check out this video link to hear from our Mayor
……… and our CEO
  http://youtu.be/YFZ3jxyYCSI

It all starts on Wednesday 6 June and over the following weeks Council staff will be at shopping centres, schools – even Sturt Football Club games at Unley Oval, distributing brochures and asking people to fill in the survey.

They will also make presentations at places as diverse as schools, community organisations and aged care facilities and nursing homes to ensure as wide a community involvement as possible.

A series of four invitation only workshops will be held, targeting the “bright sparks” in the Unley community, individuals recognised for their community interest and involvement.

It will conclude with an eight hour community event; “The Shebang”, from 12 noon to 8pm on Thursday 19 July in Unley Town Hall, when members of the community are invited to call in for an all-in “ideas fest”.

“This will be a dynamic, rolling, everybody welcome event at which people will be able to comment and build on all the possibilities that have been suggested so far,” Mayor Clyne said.

“These are fast changing times, with new possibilities and opportunities that we as a Council want to seize and run with.”

Brochures will provide details of how to add new ideas to the mix and by going online to Council’s web page www.unley.sa.gov.au/acommunityofpossibilities and completing a survey form.

Hot topic on talkback radio is Council Amalgamations

As I drove around this morning I could not help but be bemused at the suggestion on talk back radio that we should look again at Council Amalgamations.

And this at a time when my Council must deliberate on such issues as how many wards we should have and how many elected members we should have amongst other things as part our legislated responsibility.

I lived down south when wholesale amalgamations occurred and I saw three councils merge into one very big council. As a ratepayer down there I saw no benefit in rate saving as was touted and I saw no improvement in efficiency.

Having, as a rate payer, and now as an elected member, witnessed what a smaller council can achieve because of its closeness to the people, I fail to see what good can come of future amalgamations.

Bigger councils can swallow up small geographical areas and these areas  can tend to lose their identity as a result. I wonder too if these smaller areas can get left behind when it comes to infrastructure improvements or services provided because they do not have a big enough voice on the bigger stage.

Is this just a passing observation by the Lord Mayor of Adelaide or are we about to see another concerted effort to make change for changes sake.

I love the intimacy that we share in Unley because of our size.

Improvements in Responses by our Depot team

 

I am proud to say that I have had much success in helping our Depot Team to improve their response rate to requests for maintenance to our road, footpath, and parkland assets.

Our depot has an extremely difficult task to follow-up all requests made by our residents to correct concerns they observe in our streets and park. Issues like footpath trip hazards, potholes in roads, falling limbs on trees etc.
Since becoming an elected member of the City of Unley I have probbaly become a serial pest in that I have noted many an item that needs atention, most trip hazards in our new brick paved footpaths. They coudl not keep up with the number of requests I was persoanlly making and the list became so big I could not remember what I had passed on, meaning some may have been done.
These experiencs showed a need to develop inproved processes.

At my encouragement the management came up with a reporting system earlier this year that definitely improved their response to requests received. I was greatly encouraged by this.

There is evidence however that the system is not fool proof and I indicated tonight in our regular ward briefing, concerns I still had. To my delight they had anticipated my observations and are working on improvements to the system that should improve their performance even more.
And this is all good news for you.
If you see anything as you venture around your neighbourhood you can report it by ringing 8732 5111 or emailing to [email protected]. If you feel that they are not responding in a reasonable time; and lets face it no matter how well we improve the system we will still stuff up from time to time; then let me know and I will follow through for you.

Great work guys! I look forward to seeing the new initiatives in action, noting that they need time to implement them.

General Managers

Our CEO Mr Peter Tsokas advised elected members earlier this week that two of the three General Manager positions have now been fulfilled.

 

The two positions filled are as follows:

 

General Manager People and Governance – Mr Stephen Faulkner 
Stephen comes to us from the Cancer Council of SA where he is the General Manager Corporate Services and prior to this he was at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, employed in a variety of roles.
Stephen has extensive experience in HR, IT, Strategic Planning, Contract Management, Finance and  Customer  Service.
Stephen will commence with the City of Unley on 18 June.
General Manager Economic Development and Planning – Mr David Litchfield 
David was the Director of Strategic Projects at the Department of Planning and Local Government, and prior to this he worked in the Department of trade and Economic Development and the Land Management Corporation.
David’s background is in economic development and planning.
David will commence with the City of Unley on 21 May.
We will work out induction programmes for both of our new GM’s so that they can become familiar with their areas quickly. Given that David starts in a few weeks time, we will also start to think about a program of staggered restructuring to allow for adequate transition arrangements.
I look forward to meeting both and the also the third once the decsion is known.
General Manager Community 
Negotiations are occuring with the preferred candidate and we will provide updates as they arise.

General Managers to be known soon.

Our new CEO Peter Tsokas, with help from our Mayor Lachlan Clyne, have selected the new team of General Managers from a very highly qualified list of candidates.

Announcements of who these people are, the positions they will hold, and when they will start will be revealed soon. Elected members are likely to get briefing on this tomorrow night.

Peter has impressed since taking the helm and I have no doubt that the team he has selected will likewise impress. I look forward to the day this all comes to fruition.

Kangaroo Island Council with big plans

I am spending the day on Kangaroo Island as part of a team helping the local Anglican Parish who have been without a Minister for some 4 years. Spent the night at the home of Peter Denholm, elected member of Kangaroo Island Council. he updated me on what they are up to and while we at Unley are dealing with such things as the Governments 30 year plan and the Brownhill Creek storm water project amongst other things Kangaroo Island have an ambitious project on the go. Island Energy is a project of significance for them. An opportunity to generate their own power. The also are looking into a bio mass project so they can dispose of their own rubbish, saving around $700,000 per annum. Good luck Peter & Kangoroo Island Council.

Unley RSL celebrates Anzac Day

The Unley RSL this morning hosted another successful Anzac Day memorial service.

Not as cold as last year and with a few more people, I estimate between 250 and 300, attending the dawn service the RSL gave us a chance to remember those who in (laying down their lives) have made the supreme sacrifice for our country; for me and for you. Those who have displayed the love that our Lord commanded us in John 15:12-17 to do.
Scripture:
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 This I command you, to love one another.
Leading us through the service was the Priest of St Augustine’s Anglican Church of Unley, the Rev Peter Chilver. The Mayor of the City of Unley Mr Lachlan Clyne headed the laying of wreaths.
Rosemary was placed on the Cenotaph by a number of people including Students of Unley High School, Scouts and Guides.
This has always been a special day for me. Alongside Good Friday and Christmas Day it is one of the most important days on the Australian Calendar. Thank you to all who died that I might enjoy the freedom I have today to choose.
May we all be thankful.

Millswood on the World Stage.

The Millswood Croquet Club, a small club nestled quietly and neatly away form view of the world in in suburban Millswood, is about to co-host a world event.

Adelaide is the host city for the 13th WCF AC World Championships in Adelaide from April 28th to May 6th, 2012. And yes, little ol’ Millswood will be one of the host venues.

The Championship will be a spectacular event. The top 80 World-ranked players from 24 countries will compete for the title of World Champion. The Championship is held every 2 years and is the most prestigious event on the World Croquet Calendar. So we about to witness what must be seen as a once in a lifetime event.
Croquet, especially in Australia, is the quiet achiever in the sporting world. Fiercely competitive, we are the largest croquet playing nation in the world with 8000 players. Croquet is a totally non-sexist and non-ageist sport and the game itself has been likened to a mixture of snooker and chess on grass.
Australia has a proud history of producing champions and this event will see the cream of the Australian croquet community turn out to fight it out with the very best including current champion Reg Bamford from South Africa for the right to be named The World Champion.
Spectators from all over the world plus a strong contingent from Australia will converge on Adelaide for this very special event, with the final being streamed live on the internet for the world-wide croquet community.
I am proud to have played a small part in preparing the club for this tournament. One of the first things I did early last year as a councillor for the Goodwood South Ward of the Unley Council was to ensure the club received assistance from Council to make some important renovations to a very quaint clubroom. We all would have been embarrassed to leave it as it was.

Proclamation Day unchallenged by Unley call to change to South Australia Day

The recent call by Unley Council for the LGA to champion with the State Government for a change in the name of Proclamation Day failed to even get to the vote.

One of my colleagues, Cr Mike Hudson (from the Parkside Ward) has a passion for accurate history. He has on many occasions, privately, in the chamber and publicly proclaimed (if I can use that word) that the South Australian history is inaccurate.

These claims have not been based on his personal understanding but on those of historians he knows well. In an attempt to right some of the myth he felt it would be good for the Local Government Association to champion the cause by lobbying the State Government to start to right some of the misinformation.

The motion was put in his absence, unfortunately for him, and whilst seconded apparently, did not get to a vote. Storey is it was deemed an inappropriate motion for an LGA annual meeting. I guess that means it lies on the table until someone wants to pick it up again because in the absence of a vote it actually has not been defeated. Mike will be disappointed when he returns from a vacation to hear of this.

We will all know when he returns from oversees because he is sure to post something about this on his Mr Grumpy blog site.

Goodwood Saints show why they are one of the real success storeys of the City of Unley’s Goodwood South Ward.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Guernsey presentations for the junior teams of the Goodwood Saints Football Club. They are truly a great club and an icon of the local community.

It was a tremendous night where some 250 young lads received their Guernseys for the 2012 season. 250 kids mainly from the Millswood, Clarence Park, Black Forest area and attending local schools like Black Forest Primary School, Goodwood Primary School and St Thomas Primary School.

                                                                          Not only is it exciting to see so many kids at Goody Oval, it was great to see the army of volunteers (mums and dads and others) supporting the development of young minds, helping them to progress into adulthood as part of a structure that knows and is success.

And Mums and Dads and others just supporting by being there.
We can all believe what we see and hear from our media that the kids of today are lazy, that they don’t get outdoors and don’t get exercise other than their thumbs on play stations etc. Or we can get outside ourselves, go along to the local oval and see what IS actually happening. 250 kids using Goodwood Oval….I rest my case.

Well done Goody Saints. I congratulate you; and may you continue to get the success you deserve. As an elected member of the City of Unley I will help any way I can to support a club that so clearly supports the local community.

PS           Is what I saw because of their success or is what I saw why they are successful?

They know!

 

An opportunity to link Public Health with the Eastern Health Authority

Council has been presented with an opportunity to join the Eastern Health Authority.
The Eastern Health Authority is body set up by a group of eastern councils and includes the Cities of Prospect, Campbelltown, Walkerville, Norwood-Payneham-St Peters and Burnside.
There are advantages to joining this group and these were debated at our recent City Strategy & Policy Meeting. They have been identified as follows:
                 
ü  An opportunity to provide shared services whereby the City of Unley would be included in EHA’s Regional Environmental Health Management Plan as required under the South Australian Public Health Act 2
ü  Environmental Health Services would be provided by a larger operator ensuring business continuity.
ü  Consolidation of environmental health officer skill and expertise in an employment market where a shortage of Environmental Health Professionals has been experienced.
ü  Alignment with the principals of the Eastern Region Alliance agreement.
ü  The cost analysis indicates an ongoing budget saving for the City of Unley of $7 966.
During the debate we also acknowledged the following disadvantages:
ü   Residents of the City of Unley may associate environmental services with EHA, and not the City of Unley.
ü  Loss of direct control over services, however, the City of Unley would be required to appoint two elected members to be EHA Board Members and would therefore contribute to decision making processes.
We voted to hold off on a decision pending more research from our administration including considering if other more appropriate partnerships can be formed that would be of benefit to us.
I believe we should consider this very carefully and in so doing be very mindful of the need for any public health plan developed in concert with other councils truly reflects our own unique public health issues, not shared by any group we may consider joining.

South Australian Public Health Act 2011 adds to councils responsabilities

Managing our responsibilities for provision of health services will change under the new South Australian Public Health Act 2011.
I was the only City of Unley councillor who attended a briefing on this during the last week.
Not much if anything has changed in the actual function of providing the service, although the Act does make us the responsible “authority” for health in our region. It has not been designed to increase our involvement but to better co-ordinate current activity.
What is going to happen that will require our finding additional resources is we will be required to develop a “local public health” plan and a stronger emphasis on health promotion and prevention of lifestyle deseases. This plan must be integrated into our strategic plan rather than be a stand-alone document. Fortunately for us we are undertaking to develop a new strategic plan.
The plan must take into account and have regard for the State Plan that is to be developed by the Minister and which will set the priorities. Each geographical area obviously has its own unique public health issues and these will be reflected in the individual plans.
The Act does allow for us to stand alone or develop a plan regionally, in a cluster if you will.

Unley iPhone app

If you live in or near Unley then the iPhone app is a must for you; your opportunity to make the most of all the businesses in the Unley area.

http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=1829

Check out the link above to make the most of where you live.

Android on the way? Don’t know! Hope so!

Want to know how your council is performing. Well so do we so we have commissioned a survey to find out.

The survey will be conducted by Roy Morgan Research over the next three months, with outcomes expected to be produced later in the year.

Comparative performance measurement data is used by councils to measure trends in their own performance over time and to compare their performance with the average results of similar councils and across the state. The most important project aims of undertaking this survey is to ensure performance measures are consistent or improved over time.

Unley Council has been involved with the survey for the past four years. In 2011, 400 residents were surveyed and ratings were given for the community’s awareness and perceptions of seven core council responsibilities and services.

The seven core responsibilities analysed were;

  • Strategic objectives,
  • Community consultation,
  • Council services,
  • Quality of life,
  • Public access to information,
  • Asset/Infrastructure management,
  • Safety and security.

The City of Unley achieved a satisfactory rating for 2011 (7.87 out of 10) However, Unley’s overall performance rating was higher than the SA state average.

The 2010/11 results have also been used to guide Council’s ongoing service evaluations.

This data will provide valuable information that can be used by Council to measure performance trends in these key areas, and to analyse community opinion and satisfaction.

It will also enable Council’s performance to be compared with the average results of similar councils in Adelaide and others across the state.

Mayor Lachlan Clyne said; “Community engagement is a top priority for Council and this is just another great opportunity to gain valuable community feedback.

“The aim of this project is to identify Council’s performance – to gauge if our services are meeting the needs of our community.

“We look forward to receiving this year’s results so that we can continue to provide our community with what they value and need” he said.

And I agree.

Unley to Pilate a Street Sweep Initiative

An initiative I put to our administration not long after starting as an elected member, prompted by suggestions from one of our residents is about to be trialled. The apparently will mean we will be the first council adopting a pre-alert street sweep system.
Our depot manager indicated in a ward briefing last night that they had researched the possibility of communicating with selected residents within each zone we have for street sweeping prior to going to this zone.
The purpose of such a system is to alert our residents that we are due to sweep their particular street. By doing so residents who have an interest in ensuring their street is clean can organise to have cars that may prevent a full clean are kept out of the way. It also provides an opportunity for those who wish so to do, to personally sweep their footpath into the gutters.
We have determined that the method of contact could be either by mobile phone (via text), email, Facebook or Twitter. This is a system not unlike that used by the CFS to warn hills residents of a pending bushfire.

Goodwood South is the first ward to hear this news. Other ward councillors will be briefed over the next month at their respective ward briefings.

While this is happening we ask those in our ward who would like to be included in the trial to let us know. Reply to this blog or send me an email and I will ensure your name is on the list.
And a big thank you to our administration, whose first reaction to this suggestion was it would be too hard. I am pumped that they have taken the time and trouble to investigate this initiative.
This, if successful, should be a bonus too for those on our staff that do the seemingly thankless job of cleaning our streets. Often seen by residents as a service that is not provided because they do not see the street sweeper in action and believe they have not been because another wind has blown more leaves into the street, we might now see residents tangibly appreciate the work of these guys. I don,t think it is a job I would want.

A Chance for City of Unley Businesses to get their share

Here is another event that businesses in the City of Unley have exclusive access to. If you are a business owner in the City of Unley and you want to survive in this new world we are competing in, then this is a must attend for you.

http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/site/page.aspx?c=21667

As a business owner myself I will be there. I know I know I need to. Anything I can learn to improve my business I will look at and I reckon this one is a must attend, unless you are one of MY competitors. If you aren’t I will see you there.

Business Breakfast

The City of Unley business breakfast, an event that started mid last year, is on again in April. Check this link for further information and see you there if you are a business owner in the City of Unley, like me.

http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/site/page.aspx?u=1264&t=uList&ulistId=0&c=21670