Council Meeting Highlights - 8 June 2016

Date

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Release

Former Councillors given opportunity to play a key advisory role in Central Coast Council

Expressions of Interest (EOI) will be sought from former Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councillors to become members of a Local Representation Committee.

The establishment of the Committee is strongly recommended by the NSW State Government as a vehicle to provide advice to the Administrator on local views and issues.  The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet has issued Model Terms of Reference for the Committee which (amongst other things) provide that these committees should primarily be comprised of former Councillors who have demonstrated a commitment to the success of the new amalgamated Councils.   These terms of reference were adopted tonight.

The Local Representation Committee will not exercise any decision making function of the Central Coast Council nor will its recommendations bind council – it will be there to provide important local advice only.

The outcome of the EOI process and membership of the Local Representation Committee will be reported back to the Extraordinary Meeting of Council to be held on Wednesday June 29.

Administrator Ian Reynolds said:

“I would like to acknowledge and thank all the former councillors of both Wyong and Gosford Councils for their hard work and service to their local communities. 

“Their vast knowledge and understanding of the issues facing our community must not be lost and they do have an important role to play in ensuring this new Central Coast Council is a success.

“A number of former councillors have expressed a strong desire to be involved in council issues and this committee is the avenue for them to do exactly that.

World class engagement will be at the heart of council decision making

The proclamation of Central Coast Council formally dissolved the Council Committee structures of the former Gosford and Wyong Councils paving the way for council to find the best way to involve the community in council decision making.

Council formally recognised the existing community engagement procedures in place at council already reflect the International Association for Public Practitioners (IAP2) framework and spectrum and the Global Standard AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard.

The Administrator called for a further report that looks at current policies, frameworks and strategies and recommends how one Central Coast Council community engagement model will be developed.  This will involve consultation with existing community groups and find out how to best harness their knowledge and experience to ensure council can deliver the services and programs the community need, want and value.

355 Committees were formally re-established with council tonight formally acknowledging the important role they perform in managing value community facilities on behalf of council and must continue to do so.

A number of statutory committees are still in place as required by legislation and a number of important external bodies requiring council membership.  They include the Traffic Committee, Central Coast Bushfire Management Committee, Joint Regional Planning Panel, Central Coast Tourism, Chambers of Commerce and Central Coast Regional Development Corporation, to name a few.  Council representatives to these committees and bodies will be  appointed by the CEO as this does not need to be a decision of council.

Administrator Ian Reynolds said:

“I want to make sure the Central Coast is the best it can be at everything and this includes engagement with our community.

“I want to make sure we tap into the knowledge and passion of local community groups while not unnecessarily straight jacketing them into a Council Committee Structure that may not be the answer. 

“We may end up with a formal committee structure, if that is what the community want – so I want to spend time now to get it right so the new council has the best engagement strategy it can possibly have.  Our community deserve nothing less.”


Former councillors appointed to Hunter Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel

Former Councillors Bob Ward and Ken Greenwald have been appointed as council representatives on the Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP).  Gabby Bowles and Lynne Webster will be the alternate delegates.

JRPPs provide independent, merit-based decision-making and advice to the NSW Minister for Planning on regionally significant development proposals, with a value over $20 million.  The JRPP is made up of five members, three independent experts appointed by the Minister and two recommended by Council.

Administrator Ian Reynolds said:

“It makes sense to have local experience on this important body as the decisions made, by the panel, will shape how our region develops to accommodate our growing population and economy.

“I believe these former councillors have the right mix of experience and interest and will do a great job.” 

“I wish them well in their new role which gets underway tomorrow as that is when the next JRPP meeting is being held.”


Council grants delivering real outcomes for the community

Council’s grants program provides funding for community organisations for projects and programs that will directly benefit the Central Coast community.

A total of $290,620 was allocated to 39 projects across the following grant categories:

  • Community Benefit Grants
  • Community Matching Fund
  • Community Subsidy Program
  • Councillor Improvement Grants

Projects approved for funding highlight the diversity of the Central Coast Council community and range from capacity building programs for young people, support for new mums, community art projects, assistance for sporting groups and upgrades of facilities and playgrounds to ensure residents can lead active lives and engage with others within their community.

The largest grant, of $65,000 was bestowed on the Toukley RSL Sub Branch to develop a Centotaph to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and community.

Administrator Ian Reynolds said:

“These grants provide a great opportunity for council to support and assist programs and projects that in turn benefit our local community.

“The projects were approved according to established eligibility criteria and are proof of the diversity of the programs our community needs to access.

“In some cases the amounts may seem small but they do deliver real and lasting benefit to our community, by providing support and funding for groups active in our community.”


Extraordinary meeting called to adopt council’s Operational Plan

Council’s comprehensive Operation Plan for 2016-17 sets out the actions and projects to be delivered to the Central Coast community in the coming financial year.

The plan is currently out on public exhibition and highlights a $540 million spend on essential services and $183 million on quality infrastructure – improving roads, water and sewerage networks, the environment, community facilities and open space and recreation.

Community input is being sought and will be included in the final plan to be put to council on 29 June.  The plan will need to be adopted at this meeting so it can be rolled out from the new financial year starting on 1 July.

Administrator Ian Reynolds said:

“The next meeting is too soon to adopt the plan as we need to include community feedback we receive.

“We want to adopt the plan before the financial year starts, hence the need for this extraordinary meeting.”

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Last updated : Wed 18 Jul 2018