Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Early Childhood Services Forum in Glen Eira - OCT 21

Planning a bright future for early childhood services in Glen Eira

Please join us for a forum on early childhood services that will bring together the local community, local councillors and state parliamentarian representation to discuss the needs of our community and how our council can work better in partnership to achieve this.

Guest speaker
Colleen Hartland
Victorian Greens MLC with responsibility for childcare

All Glen Eira councillors invited to attend

Wednesday 21st October 2009

1pm – 3pm

Packer Pack meeting rooms
Leila Rd,
Murrumbeena Melways 68 J8

Public transport: bus 627 along Murrumbeena Rd to Leila Rd stop ( St Patricks school ) then 7 min walk along Leila rd to Packer Park
Childcare available- please contact Neil on 0428 310 919 if required by 14/10
or for any further information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Suggestions and Ideas Part 2 - Community Forum 27/7

This is the second part of this article with comments noted on the progress on bringing some of these worthwhile improvements to council.

EMail subscription service for residents that would contain a sypnosis of the upcoming council agenda with links enabling people to scan deeper for more detail if required. Also suggested that there should be a place for public letters on the website for residents to express their views.

Community Notice Boards in council facilties and other sites in the muncipality- comment - both the email sypnosis and notice board ideas were discussed recently at a community consultation committee meeting with recommendations forthcoming

Notice of Motion- Concerns were raised that Glen Eira unlike the vast majority of councils in Victoria ,doesnt have a 'notice of motion' option in its local law or in the proposed draft. This is a procedure where Councillors may ensure that an item is listed on councils agenda. comment-with submissions on the GEs Local Law Draft due by the 29/9 this will quite probably be one of the important issues raised to be discussed by council

Vision - There was a feeling from participants about the need for a visioning process in GE that residents can be involved in and positively contribute in relation to how our municipality and council will develop into the future.

footnote - there was a response to some issues raised at this forum from Cr Tang that i believe were misquoted in the Leader- from my experience Steven has continuelly shown to be interested and open to ways of improving community consultation.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Suggestions and Ideas - Part 1 Community Consulation held 27/7

Here are part of the range of suggestions, initiatives and ideas that were conveyed from those attending the last community forum in late July- with comments about the progress of bringing some of these into fruition.

Council should place ads seeking public involvement in the front section of the Leader (as Port Phillip does ) rather than at the back. Also residents should be able to sign up for an email list to recieve information and be able to view a synopsis of meeting agendas .comment - this has been discussd at a recent Community Consultation Committee(CCC) meeting with minutes and recommendations forthcoming.

Especially after what happenned at Lords Res there is an important need for far greater consultation and communication with residents and park users whenever significant works are planned.- Comment Crs have requested meaures to ensure this does take place with admin also to provide greater detail and information to crs about upcoming works.

Concerns were raised about the safety aspects of unfenced parks- comment -data available from other simliar sites in GE suggests unfenced parks have not had a worse safety record .

Planning -there was an important need in Glen Eira to more widely consult on planning issues about how our future community should develop . Structure planning , involving all stakeholders particularily in our shopping strips and residential zones is sorely needed.
comment- there is much merit in this process and I will continue to advocate.

Several participants spoke of Councils relunctance to meet and consult with their respective groups because of past critisms/experiences. comment Council should be available to meet and discuss any issues with all groups in our community with none being excluded.

Residents are forced sometimes to access neighboring council services and programs because of GE s relunctance to do so- Solar bulk buys from PPhillip and indigenous plants from Bayside nursey were mentioned- comment i would like to see GE allocate more funds for programs and services to properly serve our community and will, with more cr experience now gained, be better able to articulate this next financial year!

The GE website needed a major overhaul and was very user unfriendly-comment - work is currently being done to rectify this.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Supported Residential Services in Glen Eira- Proposal for Outings Program

Today I had the pleasure of visiting the residents and staff at one of the four Supported Residential Services (SRS) homes located in Glen Eira.

This was in response to a request for our council to fund an Outings Program -regular excursions for this group .

Presently 75 residents live full time in these facilities. They do have special needs and requirements . I was very interested to hear first hand how our council can better assist in delivering services and programs that will really enhance and encourage participation in the wider community .

I believe an outings program for these residents would go a significant way to achieving this and providing a lot of enjoyment for this disadvantaged and sometime socially isolated group within our community.

Presently we do not provide for this, unlike several of our neighboring councils who have conducted successful programs for many years.

I am hopeful and confident that Council will agree to fund a modest outings program for SRS's in the near future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

From the Chamber Council Meeting Tues 1st Sept

It was a long meeting on Tuesday night encompassing a wide range of issues.
Here is a summary of some of the items-full minutes are available on council site- under links

First of all I would like to wish Cr Nick Staikos best wishes for the future. In the wake of legislation that will come in to effect soon that prevents Crs working for State MPs ,Cr. Staikos stated his intentions to resign from council. Nick has been a strong advocate for his community in the Tucker Ward and has worked hard in many areas particularly Aged Care services and campaigned tirelessly for the GE Sports and Aquatic Centre(GESAC) to be built.His very high primary vote at last years election is testament to this.

Planning Application Decisions-

The four storey development for 21 units at 40 Koornang Rd Carnegie was approved. I felt this was the correct decision. This site is close to public transport and the local shopping strip and is where more intensive , sustainable developments are better located. There are certainly existing traffic congestion problems near the site at the cnr of Koornang rd and Arawatta st that need to be better managed.

The decision to grant a permit for two four storey apartment buildings at 7-13 Dudley st E Caulfield was again were based on the suitability of this site and its close proximty to public transport and the Monash University campus.

Planning Scheme Review-
Glen Eira is required is required to review its Planning Scheme by June 2010.

This is an important and timely project that will include a review of GE's Muncipal Strategic Statement to provide improved guidence for residents , planner and developers. There will also be a review of all council town planning policies.

The items 8.6, 8.7 and 8.8 all deal with this issue in detail including a proposal to replace existing Significant Character Areas(SCA) with stronger protection thru a Neighborhood Character Overlay(NCO).

I was concerned that there was not enough community engagement and input throughout this review and moved an admendment to include the conducting of community meetings/forums in this process.

This item was included in the agenda to answer and present the council position on financial assertions raised by an advertisement placed by the Glen Eira Community Association in the Leader newspaper the previous week.

I would encourage a good read thru of this item.

What was contentious was the personal nature of parts of this item- parts 3.2 and the paragraph
on top of page 55.

Cr. Hyams to his credit moved an amendment that would withdraw both these parts.

While this amendment was commendable, I felt this whole item was unnecessary and an inappropriate way of answering community concerns and also was being used as a platform to denigerate anyone who questioned council policy.

I voted accordingly, along with Cr Penhalluriack, against the admendment and the item.
I spoke of the need for this council to change its outlook from a sometimes confrontational stance to a far more concilliatory one.