Budget 2019 to be work shopped

Budget 2019 to be work shopped as that time of year in the life of Local Government approaches.

Rate CappingA new Council, a new year, a new budget. That is Unley in 2019 as we prepare for a budget that will set the scene for the immediate future. The result will be budget 2019.

Your new Council will deliberate on and workshop a number of initiatives in the coming weeks before settling on a short list. A short list we will then seek your thoughts on.

The challenge (as always) will be to provide for our community what we believe they need at a cost they can afford.

At our last Council meeting we resolved that we seek to limit the rate rise for budget 2019 to within 1% of CPI. While the last Council achieved this during their term it remains a challenge for the new Council.

There is much we will be seeking to absorb into this Budget 2019 target.

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom

DesignKingWilliamAll in our community would be aware of our commitments to the Goodwood Oval Clubroom upgrade, to the redevelopment of King William Road and to Brownhill Creek. Not to mention the next stage of the Unley Oval redevelopment. All big ticket items, with a possibility I suggest of Goodwood Oval maybe going over budget.

How about advancing planning for the replacement of the Millswood Croquet Club. This is an initiative that Jennie and I are promoting as an elected member initiative.

We should see a project for improvements around the Village green precinct come into consideration too.

What about the multitude of environmental initiatives we strive for in Unley. This includes continuing and even increasing projects like the verge greening I have championed in the past. Water sensitive projects and what about the conversion of our street lighting to LED.

It includes also the same for our 2nd generation tree program. A responsible approach to removing trees that may be causing a nuisance to some in our community while increasing the canopy cover long term.

We will also be looking at the what recommendations will come out of the recent Clarence Park LATM.  East Avenue, like we have already identified with Leah Street might require some structural repairs in the very near future. We will also consider beautifying Leah Street given the need for extensive repairs.

And much more I suspect.

Please wish us well as we juggle all this into budget 2019.

 

 

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom receives planning approval.

The new Goodwood Oval Clubroom receives planning approval after a marathon hearing at this week’s Council Assessment Panel meeting.

I was again proud of the rate payers of the City of Unley Clarence Park Ward who provided representations. As with previous CAP representations the residents presented to the panel on planning issues.

They recognise that panel members must make  decisions based on the Development Act, Regulations and the Unley Development Plan. The arguments therefore that they presented to the panel respected this.

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom

New Goodwood Oval Clubroom

The main focus of the representations centred not so much on the built form but the hours of use. They viewed the hours of operation in the application as excessive.

The panel, in turn, recognised the intrusion into the amenity of the area of excessive use. Approval, which was unanimous, was therefore conditioned upon a number of reductions in the extent of use. The reductions we not the result of the panel’s consideration however. They were the result of the applicant responding to concerns from the panel members.

Subject then to any appeal to the ERD Court, work can commence on preparing working drawings and calling tenders from builders.

This project has been a long time in the making. It will replace the old Grandstand with a new clubroom and change room suitable for sporting activity of the 21st Century. Activity that now includes female participation in both football and cricket.

The project has been on the drawing board since before I became a City of Unley Councillor back in 2010. It has evolved in that time from simply catching up with much needed maintenance and upgrade to a complete replacement. Female participation has been the major catalyst behind the approved design.

The Presidents of both the football club and the cricket club have since communicated to their members. I have sighted this correspondence. Correspondence that confirms the approval but which recognises that representors can appeal the decision to the ERD Court.

Both have reminded their members of the need to respect their neighbours when using the facility now and into the future. The Football Club President has also requested his members to appreciate and respect the right of representors to appeal.

It’s all in the Timing

It’s all in the timing we often hear. And that is the case when it comes to reporting on matters health in the City of Unley.

Active Ageing

Active Ageing

I blogged yesterday on the City of Unley having the highest risk of heart attack. I had planned in lieu to blog on Council receiving a grant for our new “Daily Moves” program. But with the headlines of the media focused on the negative….well.

On the good news.

We are one of 27 organisations to receive a grant from Sport Australia. A grant moreover of over $ 590,000.

The grant will fund the Council’s new Daily Moves program. The program aims to engage about 800 participants aged over 65 across the eastern region of Adelaide. A program we will be conducting with the Eastern Regional Alliance group of councils.

We are joined by the Cities of Burnside, Norwood-Payneham-St Peters, Campbelltown, Prospect and the Township of Walkerville. On their collective behalf, we will co-ordinate the program.

We will assess participants for physical health and to develop personalised exercise plans. The assessments will include a number of health factors. Most importantly, they will include balance, sleep quality and grip strength.

Such assessment will guide a personalised physical exercise plan. A personalised plan which as a result will include recommendations about local activities in fitness businesses, clubs and community settings or a home-based program.

Specific needs of individuals will be supported through modified fitness activities.

As I noted yesterday, the City of Unley was the first council in South Australia to become a World Health Organisation Age Friendly City and Community. Winning this grant is recognition of our leadership. It is in other words, all in the timing.

This is just one of our many projects to promote active and positive ageing. Similarly, programs that should impact on our collective risk of heart attacks. We look forward likewise, to making a positive impact on older people’s lives.

 

City of Unley Community at Highest Risk of Heart Attack.

What a shock for me yesterday. Fresh from a clean bill of heart health from my Doctor I find the Council region in which I live has the highest risk of heart attacks.

Yes. I get a clean bill of health and that I am at low risk of a heart attack. But I live in a community with a high risk of heart attack.

Having been diagnosed a year earlier as pre-Diabetic I actively pursued a healthier lifestyle. Watching the carbs I eat and walking most places within my ward when helping my rate payers has paid dividends.

Whether it was my weight, my blood sugars, my cholesterol, all looks good for me. Then to find my neighbours according to the article below are not so healthy is a concern.

That said the City of Unley has a fantastic active ageing program. A program that saw us become the first Council in Australia to be recognised by the World Health Organisation.

Seems many of you (my good neighbours) may need to know what we are offering to help you age. And we do offer much.

So. watch this space.

Local Listening Post Invite

Residents of the Clarence Park ward of the City of Unley have been invited to the Local Listening Post convened by the current sitting member for your new Federal Seat.

As long as I have been one of your two local council representatives our Federal member Kate Ellis has held Street Meetings. At the next Federal election we will be voting in the seat of Boothby and not the seat of Adelaide.

Nicole Flint is the sitting member for Boothby and she will be conducting two (what she calls) local listening posts. They will be held next Sunday afternoon as follows:

  • 1.00 pm at Dora Guild Playground in Churchill Avenue, Clarence Park
  • 1.30 pm at the Goodwood Oval Playground.

As was the case with Kate’s session, Nicolle has indicated she would like to hear your views on local issues.

Nicolle Flint

Nicolle Flint

I encourage you take up that opportunity to come along.  Com along and meet her.

Tell her of your concerns or wishes Federally. One topic could be the diversion of the freight train as I identified in my blog post of October 4 last.

You can reinforce what I have already indicated to her. This includes that our concerns are not so much the economic benefit to South Australia but dealing with the following:

  1. the unsafe speed of the train now that the grade separation is complete.
  2. the cancer risk from the diesel fumes.
  3. the safety of person and property from a potential derailment.
  4. the safety crossing the line behind the bowling club
  5. the loss of the “dog track” between the bowling club and the Goodwood road “subway”
  6. Graffiti along the line

I will attend both meetings, as I used to with Kate’s street meetings to co-ordinate local government issues.

Political Ties Part Only of Wider Suite of Council Reforms.

Council reforms are back on the media Agenda. But we need a wider suite of Council reforms.

The Local Government reforms being advocated however are too limited. They are restricted to one issue only, that being Candidates declaring prior to the elections any political ties. We therefore need a wider suite of council reforms

Cr Don Palmer. Providing Local Leadership and Working For You

Such a narrow focus as this does not serve us well. Neither the reputation of local government, nor the opportunity for positive change.

I whole heartedly support such disclosures prior to running for election rather than after the dust has settled. If we want improved Local Government into the future however, we need to be discussing a much wider suite of Council reforms. Reform focused on elected members and more broadly focused industry reforms.

Yes. Reform of Local Government Reform is needed. It will come.

The Industry knows it and is advocating for it. The Government signalled prior to its election that it sees reform in the local government as essential.

The State Opposition prior to Christmas promoted its own reform agenda. And the Independents in the State Parliament are also for change.

Venturing down this road in 2019 (and we should) should see a focus on a wider suite of council reforms however. Wider than has been placed before the public thus far.

At the very least, the following bullet point list needs to included in any reform package.

  1. Election reform should include disclosure of where a candidate lives and prior to the election.
  2. Election reform should also allow all candidates to have digital copies of the electoral roll for their ward.
  3. Likewise, election reform should allow also for digital voting.
  4. Strengthening of the Elected Member Code of Conduct to give it some teeth and legal muscle.
  5. Develop guidelines, procedures and templates to allow the voluntary implementation of the Local Government (Boundary Adjustment) Amendment Act 2017.
  6. Improving performance of Councils and creating best practice by using a more understandable means of bench marking.
  7. Investigating other revenue opportunities to reduce the reliance on rates.
  8. Likewise, to reduce the reliance on rates, improving mandatory revenue options to achieve cost recovery-user pays.
  9. Streamlining the industrial relations processes into an industry standard.
  10. Clean up the auditing processes of Local Government.

I look forward to providing local leadership in the coming months to encouraging this wider suite of council reforms.

2018 Satisfaction Survey shows last year a good-year

Clarence Park Community Centre

As we embark on 2019 the results of our 2018 Satisfaction Survey of our community centres, including Clarence Park. Here is a communication sent to elected members today.

Hello all,

We have now collated the results of our 2018 Community Centre Customer Satisfaction Survey, undertaken in October. I’m please to share that we received 148 responses, 5 more than 2017.  I am delighted to report that of the 148 respondents:

– 91% said our customer service and support is either good or very good

– 94% said our price/affordability is either good or very good

– 81% said our range of programs was either good or very good

– 84% said our range of information available was either good or very good

– 87% said our facilities are either good or very good for what they need

Some achievements from 2018

  • Our school holiday programs were extremely popular again across 2018 with most activities booking out across FPCC and CPCC
  • Unley Community Centre was host to yet another outstanding Christmas lunch, providing a 3 course Christmas lunch for 98 people.
  • Fullarton Park Community Centre welcomed 5 large, Aboriginal totem poles in the northern grounds, hand painted by Marra Dreaming.
  • Clarence Park Community Centre was again ‘host’ to the Premier’s Cabinet meeting, received an upgrade to the ‘Men’s shed’ and installation of a bike repair station.
  • Continued delivery of free or subsidised programs supported by State Government funding to run the popular ‘Cooking 101’ program at Unley Community Centre, the youth drop-in service and parenting seminars attended by hundreds of local families at Fullarton Park, and the very busy Playgroup at Clarence Park.

We are looking forward to another busy year ahead with a range of diverse activities and programs to engage our local community. Please refer to the 2019 Community Centres program (available from January 15th). If you would like any further information, please feel free to contact me.

New look for Councils runs deeper than you might think

Most of us recognise that there is a new look for Councils. It runs very much deeper however than is being recognised.

Yes. As my last blog post undoubtedly shows, the new City of Unley will consist of 8 women and 5 men represents this new look for Councils. We all know this is a gender turnaround of significance. It redresses a historic gender imbalance.

This is a trend across local government. Complimenting this trend we see also many Mayoral positions now occupied by women.

There is no doubt that this will changes the dynamic of Council.

A more significant dynamic, as yet not recognised, is the spread of ages on this new Council. This Council has representatives, by my judgement, in each age decade from under 30’s to over 80’s.

This to me is a much bigger shift than the gender shift. The previous council had but two members under the age I suggest of 50.

The contribution to any debate is going to be much fuller than it has been in the two terms of Council I have been a member of. As my co-councillor has oft said the last Council could be describes as a grey haired, retired, gentleman’s club. That is a far cry from this new Council.

Cross gender input will provide depth to the debate. Cross generational input will provide even greater depth. A clear new look for Councils, at least this one as I predicted in my blog post of October 9.

Further than this the age demographic shows up yet another dynamic.

This Council and possibly the next Council history may show as transitional Councils. Councils leading to a generational change.

The final observation I believe with this Council is that those of us remaining from the previous Council/s have a significant obligation. It will be incumbent on us to provide leadership in helping the new members to develop into the Unley Communities next generation of leaders.

Your Clarence Park Ward Councillors provide this.

City of Unley 2018 Election Results

The provisional results for the City of Unley 2018 Election results are now known.

 

The following is list of the elected candidates for the City of Unley 2018 Election.

Mayor:                                            Cr Michael Hewitson

Ward Councillors:

              Clarence Park                  Cr Don Palmer & Councillor Jennie Boisvert.

              Goodwood                        Emmy Wright & Nicole Sheehan

              Fullarton                           Cr Peter Hughes & Jordan Dodd

              Parkside                            Cr Mike Hudson & Kay Anastassiadis

              Unley                                  Sue Dewing & Jane Russo

              Unley Park                       Cr Michael Rabbitt & Monica Broniecki

The results are provisional as we await a final declaration by the Electoral Commission. This will occur after the expiration of the period allowing challenges. This, in turn, I believe would be unlikely but??

Subject to the declaration this then will be your new Council. The Council you have elected.

This is a brand new council. It has 7 new faces, all female. The council itself has a gender balance in favour of female 8 to 5. This is also a council with a wide age range, with members spread evenly through all decades, 20’s through to 70’s.

Watch out for a subsequent blog about this changed dynamic and the opportunities it presents in the future.

Thank You, thank you, thank you.

Thank you to everyone for indicating your confidence, allowing me to continue providing local leadership and working for you. It is heart-warming to receive your support.

More than this though, it is a great responsibility to represent you in local government.

Yes. Thank you.

Thank YouI thank all those who voted for me and those who chose to vote but did not vote for me. You both exercised your right to vote. You also showed your own leadership by accepting the responsibility to vote.

I received 410 of the 1355 votes cast by Clarence Park ratepayers. This is marginally less than what was required for a quota (429) in its own right on 1st preferences. Clarence Park ratepayers voted slightly more than the state average.

I thank also and especially that small band of volunteers who helped me with my campaign. Those who walked the streets for me delivering election flyers. Those also who scrutineer-ed for me. And to those who encouraged me during the process.

As your re-elected member of Council I will be working for all of you, whether you voted for me or not. I will be working for you whether or not you voted.

It is now time for me to celebrate my re-election. I will do this privately in the comfort of my own home and with my family. It won’t be a big celebration though as I reflect and focus on the responsibility you have bestowed on me.

For me, I am preparing my to do list as we speak in readiness to advance your interests in keeping with my many commitments. The commitments announced to you in this forum that have preceded this blog post.

I will post a blog as soon as I am able to report the makeup of the next Council.

Again. Thank You.