Before this year I have not seen much interest from our community in setting our yearly budget. This year I can honestly say I am proud of our Community’s contribution to determining our next budget.
Previously we have seen only between one and four members of the public turn up to our information sessions. This year we had in excess of 25. Numerous requests and observations were received on our have your say site, or by email or letter. This has followed on from the keen interest our community showed recently in the Unley Central DPA.
We have always had good community consultation on all manner of things. For some reason we have not on the budget itself. As a result, I believed this to mean our Community were telling us that they have already had their say on the various projects. More to the point they were happy to leave it to us to determine the priorities.
With the Sword of Damocles of the State Liberals rate capping promise for the next election sitting over our heads our community did not focus on this. Their attention was focused in lieu on the priorities of programs in the draft.
A significant portion of the observations we received focused on:
- Our being too much a “happy city” focused on events.
- There being too much focus on what they see as favouring the Sturt Footy Club.
- A concern over the first two possibly contributing to a reduction in spending on environmental issues.
Whilst I am proud of our Community’s contribution to determining our next budget we are yet to see what impact it has. I believe we will see Council make some meaningful adjustments in response to our Community.