28 September 2016

What did the Mayor do in France?

This week's agenda had a detailed account of the Mayor's trip to France and the values and insights he gained from it. The report can be found  here.  (Mayor's Report).This would seem to have been of benefit to both himself and the city. However, I would still argue that if he had chosen to use the trip as a tax deduction rather than a grant from Council the cost burden to ratepayers could have been much less.

Today's Storm Event: 28th September 2016

Useful information if contacted by concerned residents

Residents can contact Council at the depot on ph. 8372 5111 to request sand bags, or report damage, or debris.

Council will deliver up to 20 sand bags per household.

Additional sand bags are available from the SES
 at 5 Glen Street, Burnside. The SES will have people available to show residents how to fill & lay sand bags if required.

The SES should also be the point of call if residents have damage to their property. Contact phone no. 132 500.

If a resident rings to advise of a power line down get them to contact SAPN on 13 13 66, and advise them to assume that the fallen lines are still live

The SES website is www.ses.sa.gov.au; twitter either
ES Twitter @SA_SES  or
SES Facebook @ SAStateEmergencyService

25 September 2016

Full Council meeting: Mon 26th Sept 2016

Items on the Agenda include:
  • Local Heritage Reform Discussion Paper: I have written a separate blog on this. Council will discuss the content of Unley's response and how the proposed changes will affect the protection of heritage in the City of Unley. While some recommendations should be commended others  are pretty scary especially for heritage areas rather than individual items.
  • SRF Licensing and Immunisation: This calls for Unley to take over the role of  SRF (Supported Residential Facilities) inspections that are currently outsourced but to retain the current structure for immunisation.
  • Memorials policy: This policy hopes to clarify what is and is not appropriate memeorials for people who are deceased. The Council supports putting names on seats, etc in parks but, while not wishing to offend people, don't wish to see for any extended period of time flowers at the scene of a tragic death on our streets.
  • Rescission Motion regarding Millswood Lawns: This is to clarify the position of the motion  passed two years ago to proceed with a particular plan. I'm not sure I will support this as going back on our word, and decision making, puts everyone in a  poor light and makes others feel that, despite a decision, they can always continue to try to undermine the decision. .
  • Buying Local: Cr Schnell is calling for a report on the impact to Council of Buying Local for both the Council and the Community.
  • Centennial Park Cemetery Authority-Business Case:CONFIDENTIAL
  • Brown Hill Keswick Creek Update : CONFIDENTIAL

21 September 2016

Australia Day Awards

Can you think of an inspiring person that deserves recognition for the work that they are doing or have done in our community? If so, why not take the time to nominate them for and Australia Day award. Unley Council is inviting nominations for;

  • Australia Day Citizen Award
  • Australia Day Young Citizen Award
  • Community Event of the Year
  • Active Aging Initiative of the Year
Nomination forms are available from www.unley.sa.gov.au. Closing date is the 18th November, 2016

18 September 2016

Honk if your council is acting like a goose

Great heading and I'm sure we've all had some great ideas that have ended nowhere.  This doesn't mean that the views should not be aired and debated. The reason the Council exits (The mayor and 12 councillors) is to have a look at the ideas and dismiss or endorse them as we see fit, from each other and the staff. That way we can sort out the good ones from the bad ones. In 1996, I had such an idea, the CEO told me that I'd be the goose; nevertheless I put my motion on notice, listened and participated in the debate, and the majority of Councillors agreed with me. What was the idea? To stop Councillors smoking inside the Council Chamber after each and every meeting! This started the ball rolling and now Council is smoke free. David Penberthy used his column this week to try to make us all look stupid, once again, instead of encouraging ideas and change.

Flooding; it will be worse

Last Wednesdays extreme weather event left me scrambling to out of the car park at work, in hindsight this was a minor inconvenience.
When debating and reading expert opinion on the causes and solutions to flooding in the Brown Hill Creek catchment we were always told that a dam would only be useful if the rain fell in the hills and not on the plains or just in the hills. Given that very little has been done so far in the catchment and the last flood of this consequence was in 2005 it is more than likely a 1:10 event and a far cry from what a 1:100 event might look like. As I watch the news footage of Brown Hill Creek it was flooding in the caravan park and at Mitcham reserve. Was it flooding because the channel was too narrow or the amount of water coming from the hills was simply overwhelming? In my opinion, it is time for the state government to overturn the Council's agreement and do what needs to be done, and that is to build a dam. Until this is completed and the creek bed cleared resident's home will continue to be flooded. I read the transcripts of what Mayor Clyne and Spears had to say; they were trying hard to justify what in my opinion is indefensible.

Full Council Meeting; Sept 12th 2016

The following items should be of interest;

This plan is unlikely to proceed.
  • Petition re Road closures, Goodwood: This was presented by the residents in Owen St and Angus street asking for Council not to proceed to the trial road closures
  • Millswood Sporting Complex Detailed Design; After well over an hour of debate this matter was Laid on the Table ( a difficult and tedious mechanism that should not have been supported; roughly translated as it all too hard, nobody can agree so we'll do nothing; but in this case it would mean that Council would proceed with the already agreed plan unless the matter is brought back to Council). There are 3 views on this matter;Bowls, now want to keep their existing greens (they had agreed to reduce their need to one), Croquet want to have a 4th lawn, Residents do not want to lose access to Millswood Park or the railway pedestrian crossing. And while we debate and consult the clubrooms of both clubs are substandard and there seems to be little desire to compromise on planning for a joint facility. This matter is unlikely, now, to be resolved quickly.  LAID ON THE TABLE
  • Hire of the Town Hall: This is an attempt to increase the use of the Town Hall by reducing the hiring costs for local and community groups to use.PASSED
  • Goodwood, Wayville and Unley Local Area Traffic Plan: The proposed plan included long overdue road closures in Hardy and Weller St (they were first proposed over 20 years ago, with closures in Fox and Boffa Sts as well). With over 4,000 letters being sent to residents and owners and less than 150 responses to not trial the closures, Council voted to abandon the trial. This short sightedness means we're likely to be back in 20 years time as the real problem won't have been dealt with (traffic not originating or finishing their journey in Goodwood). Without the closures most of the rest, in Goodwood, is merely window dressing.PASSED
  • Property Development Project : CONFIDENTIAL
  • Acquisition of Land; CONFIDENTIAL

07 September 2016

Princess Margaret Playground: Fruit tree planting

The 16/17 annual budget includes planting Fruit Trees in a Council reserve.  The west corner of Princess Margaret Playground has been selected.
A range of oranges, lemon, lime, mandarin and red cherry guava will be planted to form the fruit tree orchard.  

A Year 4/5 class of students from Black Forest Primary School will be planting the trees with staff assistance at 2pm on Wednesday 21 September.

04 September 2016

Millswood Lawns :where are we up to?

The Council meeting on the 12th September will be shown the most recent plan for the arrangement of the Bowling Greens and Croquet Lawns. You might remember that quite some time ago Council agreed to proceed to detailed design with a configuration of 4 lawns and 1.5 greens, both of the clubs were happy for Council to proceed on this basis. Then the Bowling Club came under new management and they decided they could not work with less than 2 greens! Council has been trying to meet their concerns and it seems there is nothing, at this time, that will keep both clubs happy at the same time. The latest configuration does achieve, to some extent, a compromise by moving the greens east and extending into the Millswood park area. The clubs will both make delegations next week to the meeting. Hopefully, we can proceed to full public consultation again with a choice of designs that the public can give their opinions on.

Heritage at Risk

Under threat!!
Suggested new changes to the how heritage is protected have been put out to consultation in the last couple of weeks. I have read the National Trust response and it makes some very interesting observations about heritage protection in this state. It seems that the Minister for Planning will stop at nothing to undo years of hard work by Councils and organisations like the National Trust. With little or no evidence to support the government view it seems they will push on until they get their way. As an example heritage listed properties will have to be rare or unique to be listed. So what happens to Millswood's heritage protection that has kept the western side largely in original condition? None of the buildings are unique, all are contributory and will have no protection. All the work of Council to protect these areas will be gone.