Item 11.4 - Attachment 1
Community Advisory Committee Minutes 3 December 2009
Marivic Manalo, Paul Hurley and Phillip Russo
Richardson and Val Squires- community members,
1. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE TRADITIONAL OWNERS
An apology was received for the absence of Chris Bertinshaw
4. CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATION
There were no declarations made regarding conflict of interest at this meeting.
5. Election of Chair and Deputy Chair
Due to the lack of a quorum this matter was held over until the next meeting.
6. Confirmation of Minutes
Due to it being a new Committee there are no previous minutes.
7. Business Arising
Due to it being a new Committee there is no business arising.
8. Purpose and operation of the Community Advisory Committee: LGA Wide Issues Program and the Neighbourhood Issues
8.1 The LGA Wide Issues Program
The following was discussed:
(a) The Committee will host 4 forums a year that will involve Committee members taking a strategic role including identifying what the priority issues are; providing advice on promoting the Forums and where possible promoting them through their own networks; providing advice on the structure of the Forum; Chairing the Forum and identifying key issues that arise in the Forum to include in a report to Council. It was noted that Council Officers will be responsible for ensuring the required operational work is done.
(b) To identify priority issues, the Committee will be provided with advice from Council Officers on current community concerns, knowledge from research, and refer to their own knowledge of communities’ concerns/ priorities.
(c) The Committee’s role is to provide an opportunity for community members to advise Council on their needs/ priorities and concerns. In contrast the Residents Panel usually consults the community regarding a particular project/ piece of work of Council’s.
(d) The Forums will be run using a standard ‘Issues Forum’ model i.e. information about a topic is presented and participants (those who attend the Forum) then have the opportunity to reflect on the issue, tease out and identify their perspective and priorities concerning it. Due to their design, Issues Forums may seed further action, however the Committee is not responsible for supporting or resourcing that action. Depending on the action, a Council Officer/s or representative of an external agency/service may support and resource further meetings.
8.2 Neighbourhood Issues Programs
The following was discussed:
(a) The Neighbourhood Issues Program is an intensive suburb- based program of open forums for residents, workers, volunteers and other key stakeholders which will identify and address local soft and hard infrastructure issues as defined by those who attend the forums. Eventually the forums will be held in each of the 5 wards, however it was agreed that for the first 12 months the Committee will aim to hold 3 forums in different neighbourhoods, 1 in each ‘arm of the propeller’ that is the shape of the LGA.
(b) These forums are a vehicle to tap into existing networks to raise issues that might need to be addressed by Council or another agency or service. They are also a vehicle to feed back information gained from the Forum participants to the Committee, Council and/or other services/ agencies to the community.
(c) It was acknowledged that there would be some ‘hard’ community issues regarding for example rubbish, paths or other infrastructure issues. Other appropriate Council Officers e.g. Council Place Officers, will be invited to attend the Forums to provide advice/input on specialised areas. The Committee’s focus would be on the ‘soft’ social and community issues for example housing, crime, employment and/or health.
(c) As with the LGA Wide Issues Forums, the Committee’s role is a strategic one including pre planning the events, providing advice on promoting the Forums and where possible promoting them through their own networks, providing advice on the structure of the Forum; Chairing the Forum and identifying key issues that arise in the Forum to include in a report to Council. Again, it was noted that Council Officers will be responsible for ensuring the required operational work is done and in briefing the Committee on the profile of the particular Neighbourhood including providing demographic information, identifying any known current priorities, concerns or needs.
(d) Promotion of the Forums would be through Council Officers’ and Committee members’ networks, email mailing lists, flyers, pamphlets and posters distributed to service providers, volunteers, community leaders, local businesses, libraries etc. Information of the Forums may also be included in Council’s pages in the local press.
(e) It was agreed that it may be challenging to go into a neighbourhood and encourage people to talk about problems and priorities and then feed the communities’ ideas, opinions and views back to Council. However it was also noted that the forums are likely to be an effective and therefore valuable way of improving the link between Council and communities, resourcing and supporting communities’ actions to address their priorities and needs and to educate people about local government and other external forums that can assist communities to address their needs/ priorities.
(f) The reporting conduit back to council is through a bi-monthly report that will summarise the Forums. It is hoped that this will assist in allowing Council to hear from a broad range of people. It was also noted that as with all Advisory Committees, whilst the Committee can make recommendations to Council, these may not be ratified by Council. Councillors will be invited to attend Forums.
9. Calender of Meeting/ Programs
Due to the lack of a quorum this matter was held over until the next meeting. The Committee decided to meet next on the first Tuesday in February 2010.
10. General Business and Information Sharing
The Committee discussed the fact that more members will be
needed, especially as the Parramatta LGA consists of a large geographical area,
has a range of communities with diverse socio economic status and has new and
The Committee discussed the fact that due to the time of the meetings, people, especially younger people, who work in the city, would not be able to attend.
The Committee also discussed the fact that the formal structure of the Committee and application process can be very intimidating.
10.2 Other Forums
The Committee discussed the other ways residents who cannot
attend meetings could still participate for example using virtual forums such
as a web based forum or blog.
6pm, 2 February 2010
Meeting Room B
Council Chambers Building
The meeting concluded at 7:45 pm