Two popular King William Road restaurants have won awards at the 2013 South Australian Restaurant and Catering Awards.
City of Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne is inviting residents to join him for a coffee starting tomorrow week, Wednesday 14th August.
Mayor Lachlan would love for people to grab themselves a coffee and raise ideas and issues that they feel are important to Unley. Starting next Wednesday the 14th of August and occurring weekly every Wed from 8-10am at Pellegrini’s Cafe on Unley Rd.
Two significant council trees (one in Clarence Park, one on Millswood) are coming down overnight and this morning.
I came into two pieces of communication from Council staff late yesterday informing me that two trees are set to come down.
The first of these was in Frederick Street Clarence Park, a victim it would seem from yesterday’s storms. The tree was leaning across the road held up by the power lines above.
After waiting for SA Power Networks to turn the power off the tree was brought down before it could do harm to person or property. Sad to see such a significant contributor to our community having to come down.
The other tree, in Arundel Avenue Millswood I was advised is also leaning and unsafe but not a victim of mother nature. This one was a victim of the adjacent rail works. This tree is coming down, probably as I write this blog post.
Residents adjacent were letter boxed last night by DPTI explaining the circumstances. From that letter we read “Accidental excavation within the rail corridor has encroached within the Structural Root Zone of this tree and many medium to large diameter roots have been severed, compromising the integrity of the tree, making it unsafe. Removal of this tree is scheduled to take place on”.
Two independent arborists, one employed by the principal contractor York-Thiess Joint Venture and one subsequently commissioned by Council both concluded that “the tree poses a significant risk to public safety having a high potential for total failure.”
This is another chapter in the relationships between the locals in this area and DPTI during the rail revitalisation works and I dare say locals will not be amused. The letter goes to great lengths to justify what is happening but no mention of “Sorry” for the lack of effort to protect the tree, which was a condition of development approval.
The recent Sensis has revealed some interesting facts about Unley that many residents may not be aware of.
An interesting fact is that Unley, which is earmarked with other inner rim councils as needing more consolidation, as 38.5% as medium density (semi-detached, row or terrace house, flat, unit or apartment) compared to the state @ 21.8%.
And just to bring things into perspective, the western suburbs of Unley have a slightly higher proportion of 0-4 year olds, 20-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds and a smaller percentage of 65 years +. Seems the west is well represented with younger people. Although not representative yet it would be reasonable to conclude that in the near future the Western suburbs of Unley could see a spurt in the births, given the figures of the sensus.
Yesterday I was asked via voice mail by John Stokes of the Eastern Courier for my take as an elected member on the hike in fee increases approved by Council last week at our last Council meeting. I returned his call but had to leave a voice mail too.
When I arrived home I found his article that managed to be front page of this weeks Courier.
For John and for anyone else that is interested, here is my take on the Unley Councils Homer Help Hike.
A short while ago Council determined that they had trouble keeping up with requests for home assistance. So popular is our home assist service that we reached the point where we could not keep up with the demand.
What ever we collect by way of fees contribute out of our budget a massive $ 366,317 to home and community care (HACC). Catch this. This is more than Holdfast Bay, Prospect, Campbelltown and Burnside Council all put together.
So put in perspective Unley clearly is a leader in the pack. As good as those other councils programs may be Unley’s is a stand out. And don’t forget we are one of the smallest councils, so we are (as a I put it when we won the award earlier this year) punching well above our weight.
Perhaps that is why Unley became the first council in South Australia to be awarded by the United Nations World Health Organisation as an Age Friendly City.
Council actually consulted with those already using the program about the changes and we received no adverse reaction. These people have been well aware that the fees are not what they necessarily pay but are the base from which we calculate an individuals contribution. In other words the fee for service is discounted based on the individuals ability to pay.
In other words they (the users had no problem). As a result we are now able to allow others to use the service, on an ability to pay basis. And let us not forget that whatever fee is being charged it is well under what it is costing us directly, let alone the overhead costs associated with it that
For services that other Councils might duplicate it is my understanding that we are in the mid range of fees, and that where we charge more per hour than another council we have a cap on the total whereas the other councils don’t.
Having said that, if I was a betting man (I am not by the way), I would bet the group of elected members that is the current council would review the fees again if we felt that we were disadvantaging our residents.
If you are looking soon for ways to enter the job market or you have kids in this position the City of Unley may be able to help you, with our new Learning for Earning program.
The program is the result of listening to young people and their frustrations of getting a job in Unley. A number of Unley businesses have put their hand up and well…
Check out the video above to find out
As a small business owner I know only too well that the key to profitability is the level of customer service I provide. A business lives and dies on their customer service. All levels of Government invariably have bad reputations when it comes to customer service however.
This is one of the first things I noted when I became an elected member of the City of Unley.
As a result of my not having confidence requests I had put in where being addressed I had discussions with management and some changes were made which improved things significantly. It was still far from a system that we could hold up as an industry benchmark however.
Our new management team have likewise recognised the limitations of our system. After many months of hard work the new Customer Request System they have pout together went live last Thursday,.
Thanking you all in anticipation.
City of Unley’s ‘Find Your Everything’ website has celebrated its six month anniversary in style with more than 949subscribers and 2,629 Facebook fans.
The Budget, which has been out for public consultation will now be finalized and presented in June to Council for approval.
Our rate revenue will probably have to increase 4.5% to fund the programs we have on our books and to retire some debt. Your individual rate may or may not increase by this amount. It will depend on the valuation of your property (as assessed by the Valuer General).
History shows the Valuer General does not always get it right, so when you get your rates notice. Ring on 1300 653 345 or email them at [email protected]
Goodwood South is due to benefit again, most particularly with Master plans to be prepared for Goodwood Oval and Millswood Park. This will see the culmination of what began as a Strategic Building Review some 4 years ago and developed into a Community Assets review in my time on Council.
At my request our works depot has acknowledged that street line marking has fallen behind. All wards will benefit from an increase in line marking. Goodwood South may not see too much until all this rain revitalization activity is complete, even though some of our lines have actually disappeared altogether.
We have an allocation for implementation of the recommendation that come out of the Black Forest LATM. In conjunction with this will be the replanting of trees in Canterbury Black Forest and Parker Terrace Clarence Park. Likewise we will be involved with the landscaping along the Greenways bike path.
Outside Goodwood South but important to us is an LATM for Forestville is proposed. This will address traffic movement in this suburb and which will look into the speed cushions recently instated in Leah Street.
The pergola at page Park is due for replacement. We may also see gym equipment in Page Park as well, but watch this space.
A number of streets have been earmarked for road repairs, kerb and watertable repairs and/or footpath repairs.
I am again pleased to see and to report that the essence of the new committee structure is shaping up as a winner for Council.
The concept of committees with independent members contributing is ground breaking and challenging. It puts Unley out there in front and I know many councils are watching us to see how well we perform.
We will make mistakes and it is difficult to deal with the transition. We also will get great benefit from it.
And I saw again the value of independent expert input at the recent Development, Strategy & Policy Committee. The quality of the report this committee submits to next month’s council meeting is improved by their contribution.
This meeting included a report on, with a summary of, the responses we received from the public forum we conducted two months ago on DPA 3A. Members, both elected and independent, then contributed their thoughts.
The public responses and the observation form this meeting will be put to council for their final consideration. Council will therefore be well armed to make a responsible and qualified decision.
City of Unley’s new Committee Structure, the ground breaking initiative of our CEO Peter Tsokas, has experienced its first teething problems.
As the City of Unley grapples with the limited open and green space within it’s borders (the least by a mile of any local council area in the greater metropolitan area). As the City of Unley grapples with addressing the State Governments 30 year plan to increase the density of housing stock.
I have long pondered the relationship Unley has with the adjacent parklands to its north, the other side of Greenhill Road.
There has been much talk during public consultation of our DPA 3A that how are we going to find extra open space which will become more precious than it is now as our density inevitably increases.
Enter the South Parklands.
And enter this article by David Penberthy n Adelaide Now this morning. Yours to read and love to hear your thoughts on the observations he has raised and how Unley might better utilise the Parklands (in partnership of course with the City of Adelaide).
I can now confirm the names of the independant candidates that will join our three new committees.
The successfull candidates have now all been informed so I can now name them on this blog site.
There are as follows:
Infrastructure & Capital Projects Committee
Nicole Edwards, Gavin Brennan and Paul Dilulio
Development Strategy & Policy Committee
Theo Maras, Tim Horton and Roger Freeman
Community & Culture Committee
Dr Lyn Arnold, Greg Mackie and Peter Croft.
Contragtulation sto all the successful candidates. I look forward to working with you, particulalrly those on the Developmnet Strategy & Policy group
As debate on Council’s preferred position on the Representation Review stalled at last night’s council meeting we did agree on proposing a name change of the one ward that does not have a name that is easily identifiable with the suburbs it covers.
As I noted in my last post we are legally bound to conduct a “representation review” every 8 years or so.
After a first round of public consultation resulting in one (yes one) response we sat done last night to prepare and decide on our preferred position before going back out for a second round of public consultation.
We agreed on the following:
1 That there be no change to the name of the city. Unley it was, Unley it is and Unley it is to stay. as far as we are concerned.
2 That the Mayor still be elected by the people rather than appointed by the elected members.
3 The there be no area councillors in addition to the ward councillors.
4 That we will retain a 6 ward structure, rather than abolish wards altogether, and in lieu of changing to 3 wards as suggested by Parkside Councillor, John Koumi.
5 That we retain 12 elected members plus the Mayor.
What we could not agree on (actually we came close I believe) was where the ward boundaries should be in order to keep the rate payer to elected member ratio to within a 10% variance. We probably have the answer but we need to run the numbers on the suggestions made last night to confirm we are within the 10% or not, before endorsing it.
Once we do that, which will now be at next months Council meeting, we can go out to the public for your comments should you have any.
On Tuesday night Council will decide what preferred options we wish to promote under the Representation Review we must conduct every 8 years or so.
Check out this link for an exciting way of finding everything you need in Unley.
At Council’s December meeting we adopted a new committee structure, but the future of advisory groups was not resolved. Our CEO Mr Peter Tsokas has flagged that he wishes this to be considered in the near future.