Ordinary Council Meeting
16 February 2015
The meeting commences at 6.30pm. If members of the public are
not interested in any business recommended to be considered in
Closed Session or there is no such business, Council will ordinarily
† commence consideration of all other business at 7pm.
1.††††† Fit for the Future Forum - Council Amalgamations
Notices of Motion Ė Note from the general Manager
This notice of motion was received within the deadline specified in the code of meeting practice, however it was inadvertently not included in the agenda
2.††††† Lane Cove North Traffic Workshop †
Subject:††††††††† Fit for the Future Forum - Council Amalgamations†† †
Record No:†††† SU5558 - 9273/15
Division:†††††††† Lane Cove Council
Author(s):†††††† Councillor David Brooks-Horn†
Councillors, the Fit for the Future Forum held at the Concourse of the 5 February 2015 was attended by some 34 Councillors representing North Sydney, Hunterís Hill, Lane Cove, Willoughby, Mosman, Ryde and Ku-ring-gai Councils. Attached is the Media Release that followed the Forum.†
Lane Cove has already made its position clear through previous resolutions that it opposes forced amalgamation of councils and Council is opposed to the amalgamation of Lane Cove Council with any other Council. It was heartening to see that this was the position of the vast majority of those attending the forum.
The Forum provided an opportunity for the region to consider a number of options for taking a shared approach in response to Governmentís Fit for the Future agenda, which are due for submission by 30 June.
Arising from the Forum, it is appropriate that Council formally consider the opportunities for regional co-operation in responding on the following key issues (It may be the case that not all councils participate on each matter, which is their prerogative):-
1.†† Producing a Business Case (cost / benefit analysis) of the proposed groupings of councils - one council comprising North Sydney, Hunterís Hill, Lane Cove, Willoughby, Mosman, Ryde, and another for Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby. This would be one piece of work, undertaken by consultants funded equally by the participating Councils. I believe it is important that Council do this work to document the effects of a merger;
2.†† Investigating alternative merger models to that put forward by NSW Government (for example, investigating mergers that involve fewer or different councils than proposed by the Government). Given Councilís adopted position, I donít believe Council should participate in such research;
3.†† Investigating options for some type of Joint Organisation being formed by Northern Sydney Councils to meet the requirement for greater scale and capacity. As scale and capacity is the first hurdle in Fit for the Future documents, and financial sustainability is subordinate, it is important that we explore alternative options to merging, to address the scale and capacity argument. There are various options for a Joint Organisation which will retain Councilís autonomy but allow greater scale and capacity through joint planning, projects and service provision with other councils. There are numerous existing models including the State Governmentís pilot projects for rural areas.This would be one piece of work, undertaken by consultants funded equally by the participating Councils;
4.†† Undertaking a shared community engagement strategy. Council has already held two community meetings, but moving forward surveys of our community will play an important role in understanding the communities view. By doing this work across the region it will ensure consistency in the information provided and wording of question and reduce costs. This would be one piece of work, undertaken by consultants funded equally by the participating Councils. This will not preclude Council from undertaking other local engagement activities; and
5.†† Undertaking a shared communications strategy that is implemented both before and after the March State election that opposes forced amalgamations. By doing this work across the region it will provide a united stronger voice which should allow greater media exposure and reduce costs. This would be one piece of work, undertaken by consultants funded equally by the participating Councils.
The Fit for the Future Program is a major distraction to Councilís core activities and unfortunately will require Council to fund various reports and strategies to appropriately respond. Working with other councils in the region that share our Councilís position will provide the opportunity for the highest standard of work to be undertaken, a consistent message to be provided to our communities and some reduction in cost, compared to the work being undertaken separately by each council. It will also further demonstrate the ability for councils to work together on strategic issues.
Council at its last meeting authorised the General Manager to source and appoint appropriately skilled consultants to assist with Councilís response to Fit for the Future, and I see a regional response is consistent with this. With less than 150 days before the submissions are due on the Fit for the Future Program and it is important that the proposed work proceed as soon as possible and General Manager will be working with the participating councils to ensure this occurs.
1.†† Council agree to work with other councils in the Northern Sydney Region to respond to the Fit for the Future Program on the following key issues;-
a.††† Producing a Business Case (cost / benefit analysis) of the proposed groupings of councils;
b.††† Investigating options for some type of Joint Organisation being formed by Northern Sydney Councils to meet the requirement for greater scale and capacity;
c.††† Undertaking a shared community engagement strategy; and
d.††† Undertaking a shared communications strategy that is implemented both before and after the March State election that opposes forced amalgamations.
2.†† North Sydney, Hunterís Hill, Willoughby, Mosman, Ryde and Ku-ring-gai Councils be advised of Councilís decision.
Councillor David Brooks-Horn
Media Release Joint Councils Fit for the Future 11 February 2015
Subject:††††††††† Lane Cove North Traffic Workshop†† †
Record No:†††† SU1666 - 9350/15
Division:†††††††† Lane Cove Council
Author(s):†††††† Councillor Scott Bennison†
The residents of Lane Cove North are already feeling the impact of the development in the Mowbray Precinct and we need to develop solutions to resolve the traffic issues.
Traffic studies are expensive and prior to consideration of engaging consultants, I propose that we meet with the residents of Lane Cove North to identify and workshop specific concerns regarding traffic in the area.
1.†††††††† The General Manger organise a workshop covering the areas of Lane Cove North experiencing increased traffic, particularly from the Mowbray Precinct; and
2.†††††††† West Ward Councillors, residents from the affected streets, and relevant Council staff be invited to attend.
Councillor Scott Bennison
There are no supporting documents for this report.