Improving Community Engagement and Consultation in Glen Eira
On Monday night at the Boyd Room in Carnegie Library a very successful community meeting was held with 33 participants attending.
Whilst problems in our municipality on this issue were certainly acknowledged the theme for the night was on how to identify effective solutions on which our council can improve its performance and embrace best practises.
A full summary of the discussion will be posted next week detailing these problems and solutions.
Below is a brief summary of the opening address I provided outlining my thoughts-
The expertise, opinions and experiences of the community in GE are not fully valued and appreciated.
There is a culture in the Council/Admin that says 'we know best' and those whose views differ are too easily dismisssed as a 'noisy minority' and are unworthy of consideration.
The Council seems to be run more like a company than a local governing body and that widespread cultural change will probably only happen with personal changes.
However there is some scope for positive progress in this term as I feel that the current council is more progressive than previously.
Community representatives on advisory committees should be the norm not the exception.
The council meeting processes should be changed-
to allow the gallery to address the council
councillors to have greater input into public questions
The local law draft needs to be closely looked at especially where it could constrict public engagement in the meeting process.
I also mentioned the chamber should be relocated to a far more modern room that is more condusive to community interaction!
The council website can be further improved and enhanced .
I feel these forums will become increasingly important in helping to improve and reform our council and have been heartened by the feedback so far, only 14 to go!
The next forum will be held in late September with EARLY CHILDHOOD SERVICES IN GLEN EIRA being the issue to be canvassed.
Special thanks to Rose for facilitating and for all those who attended.