Council has an obligation to listen to deputations from members of the public on particular issues that concern them. I fully support this right but do not support the right for individuals to speak on more than one occasion and in my opinion they should speak at the earliest meeting in which the matter is raised. This might not only be City Services but should also apply to the Road Safety Committee, the Audit Committee and the Unley Business and Economic Development Committee. It is not reasonable that one individual should be able to continue to demand the right to speak on multiple occasions. If the deputations on McLeay park had been requested at the earliest meeting then Council would have all the facts in front of them on the first occasion the matter was debated and would have made the correct decision in the first place. When we get it wrong, and in that case we did, it causes much unnecessary anxiety in the community.
So what was on this weeks Agenda?
- The petition for Byron Rd has been tabled and will be formally received, this has resulted in some excellent press.
- I tabled a letter from a resident, at his request, expressing his disappointment to the decision to not continue with creek works at Orphanage Park.
- The renaming of Johnstone Tce (the road that leads from Greenhill Rd to the Showgrounds) to Hamilton Boulevard. Considerable money has been spent on remaking this street and it should be an exemplar of good practice in water retention when completed in time for this year's show.
- Council's response to the Inner Metropolitan Rim Plan- this has been debated by Councillors and the Community. The report supports many of the initiatives, but does not support the heights suggested for buildings, the development of more shopping areas (Leader St and Fullarton Rd), and further urban infill in heritage areas.
- Money to continue the Home and Community Care programme.
- The solutions to remediate the Leicester St Playground after contaminated soil was found on the site. With conflicting reports this was a difficult decision. In the end Council resolved to spend just over $100,000 on works to render the area safe to use as a play area. I would have preferred a more comprehensive solution but did not have the numbers to achieve this.
- To make fees and charges for just about everything. This will come back to Council as Councillors still thought some modifications were necessary. I would like to see the family ticket to the pool to be available to families with 3 children at the same price ($18) as families entering with 2 children.
- The Annual Business plan. This supports a rate change to 0.2276 cents per dollar of valuation. This will amount to an average rate increase for residential property of 5.1%. However, its never that simple and relies on the entire Cities valuation having increased by 6%. If your valuation has gone up more or less than that then your rate rise will be more or less than 5%. Clarence Park valuations have gone up only 2% on average which means for most residences in this suburb their rate rise will be minimal. However, the value of Black Forrest has been much more than 6% and rate increases will be much higher. Millswood should be at about the 5%. It is worth remembering that if you feel your valuation is higher than the amount you think you can sell your house for you can appeal to the Valuer General for them to reconsider the amount. According to the Sunday Mail article about 50% of queries result in a reduced valuation. Remember also that this amount is not set by Council.
- The new Audit committee has been appointed
My questions on notice on behalf a resident have not been answered. I will have to wait until July for the answers even though it is Council's policy that the answers be in the same agenda.