- Conservation Grants; Each year Council allocates $50,000 to help people with heritage houses repair or preserve their homes. Recent changes to Council planning policy means that there are now1801 heritage homes in Unley rather than 356. This means that there has been an increasing demand for funds without an increasing budget allocation. 27 of the 29 applications received will each get 35% of the costs of their project up to $5,000 for houses and $1,000 for trees. This leaves no funds for the second round of applications. I asked for increased funding to be considered in the next budget variation process. Only 4 applications were received from Goodwood South residents even though all of Millswood (west of Goodwood Rd) is now a heritage area. My motion was defeated to both increase the allowance for this year to allow for a second round of applications and to include more money in the budget for 2012/13. It seems that we as Council spend a lot of time saying how much we value heritage and yet when it comes to helping people with their restoration (eg underpinning, stonework ,verandas) we are not prepared to help more than a few in this way. The policy does need to be updated and this will occur in the new year.
- Temporary Road Closures for the Tour Down Under Gourmet Gala; These will be similar to last year. However, the committee has considered ways that underage people who arrive under the influence of alcohol can be better managed.
- Meeting times for 2012; There was considerable debate on this as the order of meetings scheduled was to change. I see many downsides to this and few advantages. The meeting was evenly divided on this relying on the mayor to give a casting vote, he then voted for change while saying that he would support the status quo (the amendment)! We now need to debate the timing of the 'reserving out' process (deciding if the matter will be debated again). If this is not changed then nothing has been achieved by the change and the process and deadlines have become more difficult to manage for staff with no gain for anyone.
- Development Act Delegations Review; This is a statutory requirement and changes reflect legislative changes. One change was made and that was to reflect that a significant tree, by definition, must now have a 3 m circumference.
- Appointment of a Deputy Mayor; Would you believe it this issue is back after being rejected just 3 months ago? The new suggestion was that Councillors take 6 month turns ward by ward. I'm not convinced that this is any more than tokenism. The described advantages are that it would give more Councillors an opportunity to share the responsibilities of the Mayor and would foster better communication between the selected individuals and the Mayor. Council rejected this motion and we still do not have the valuable role filled by anyone despite there being a need and many Councillors competent to do the job.
- Kirinari School -Use of Council land; Kirinari school has had the use of Council land for 11 years at no cost to the school. The school sold the land to Council in 2000. There have been some comments in the Eastern Courier that ignore the facts of this and wish for Council to consider to offer free use into the future. The reality is that the land should never have been free to use by the school and, hopefully, an agreed rent will be paid in the future.
- Electronic Hard Waste; Cr Hudson put a motion for a collection area for e-waste to be established that would be open regularly to drop off e-waste (see separate blog).This was supported and staff will investigate how this might work.
26 November 2011
Full Council Meeting November 28th 2011
Only one item was reserved for the City Strategy meeting and this was only to change the wording rather than the intent of the motion. Items debated this month include;