1st council meeting for 2017

January 31, 2017

2016 Signe OutdoorsTomorrow night is the first council meeting for 2017. Don’t forget they begin at 6pm sharp and are generally more interesting if you know what is on the agenda.

http://liverpool.infocouncil.biz/Open/2017/02/CO_20170201_AGN_320_AT.PDF

So far the agenda isn’t too taxing and there are a couple of items of particular interest, one being NOM01 being put forward by Cllr Balloot… “That as Liverpool is growing and demand is increasing for affordable housing Council should investigate ways to cut red tape and reduce the time to earmark and prioritise lands for new housing developments in an effort to counter the crisis of housing affordability hitting Sydney currently.”

So where is the question about affordability…? He’s most certainly wanting more houses approved and faster but in reading his question and that of the reply nowhere is mentioned the actual percentage of actual affordable housing needed, nor the manner in which to achieve or even cost factors involved in providing AFFORDABLE HOUSING. It sadly screams to me of calling for one thing in the name of another for the benefit of the developer and nothing for the residents in need of affordable housing. Liverpool and surrounds has a real need for housing that is affordable but nothing in this request for expedience is there a provision to provide anything other than more houses – faster, which in fact does not raise or technically provide affordable housing. What we should be calling for is a provision of a set amount of housing being provided that is actually affordable, but developers won’t jump on board and providing more housing may raise the availability of housing but nothing in here suggests how to make it more affordable. (rent capping or even a hint of it isn’t to be found anywhere)

The other is the New Precinct meetings being proposed quarterly or as needed… this will pretty much mean the abolishment of the community forums of which you know I regularly attend and find a particularly engaging manner of getting residents together. It will be interesting to see if there are any changes made to the proposed format. I note that a Cllr Chairperson is to be nominated which is a bit of a laugh when you consider only Cllrs Harle, Shelton and recently Haggarty ever attend. Well that’s not quite true a couple of other councillors managed an appearance prior to an election here and there but they are not what one would call high on the agenda for the majority of councillors. I imagine there will be some toing and froing for chairing some in the ‘more desireable’ locations but only time will tell. Sadly every-time the council chooses to ‘play’ around with the format of the forums it has a huge cost in the way of attendance and the sceptic in me sees this as more of the same. I”m not sure how the Rural forum attendees are going to feel about their meetings being reduced to quarterly as they have in recent times had good attendance monthly.

Please come up and say hi if you are at the meeting tomorrow night – I try to sit where I can watch the majority of the councillors, how they vote etc

Remember these are your rates being discussed, distributed and dissected it’s in your best interest to know where they are being spent. I also tweet during the meetings, if you aren’t connected to twitter you can still read them as they appear to the right of this post throughout the meeting. Again, I would like to congratulate Kiersten Fishburn on her appointment as CEO. I have always found Kiersten fair, engaging and willing to listen to the community so to me that is a real win for the community especially compared to the formers.

See you tomorrow… council chambers, to the right of the Liverpool Main Library doors at 6pm.

Sign off

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Well that was an event

October 14, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102)Wednesday  was the first council meeting of a new 4 year term of council. At least from the get go things looked like they were  going to be  interesting. There may be some new faces and some new ideas however some of the old bad habits persisted

From what would or could have been a fairly innocuous/standard meeting for the most part it began with a little left over poor behaviour from Cllr Hadchiti a bit of one upmanship one might say. The ever zealousness of the newbies and the stubborn left overs from the previous past were on show from the beginning, right up to the calling for division.

It will take a while as new councillors learn the tricks and tips for stealing proposals, the few liberal leftovers became masters at this in the previous term even though they don’t like it now it’s being done to them.

I tweeted throughout the meeting and managed to stir the eyre of one of the new councillors who didn’t like the hashtag she’d been assigned. While I’d like to take all the credit, even when waiting outside while the confidence motions were in play, I was being asked about her aggressive confrontation by other members of the gallery her saw her pointing her phone at me, the same term was used over and over.  Clearly as time goes by another perhaps even more appropriate tag will become evident  but in a gesture of goodwill I advised her that I would retire it so as not to offend. That said, my quote that the previous Mayor had stepped down in order to spend more time with his family, was not something I made up, it was in the press, he announced it in council so the while the hashtags may still be up for debate, his planning to spend more time with his family was more than accurate.

Anyway, there is more to council than a councillor spending her time reading my tweets while supposedly acting as a councillor defending the rights, needs and passions of the community. Mayor Waller resumed the role easily and as in the past fairly from what I could tell. For council to work effectively the councillors need to focus on what is in the communities best interests and not their own and only time will tell if this is how it pans out.

There were as always a number of items covered under confidentiality and unfortunately when we were called back in a number of the issues were already plowed through and we weren’t about to hear the results. It is well clear that I don’t like issues removed from the public glaze however I am of the belief that with a little diligence, care and respect the community can be included on important issues such as sourcing of services. All should be available today when the transcript is made public on the council website.

Listening as one new Councillor undertook the reassignment of committees, I christened it the “Balloot” as this is exactly what he did over the past couple of years and a way to completely dominate the councilors attendance on committees, only this time leaving the Liberal Councillors out of much as opposed to the past where the Labor Councillors were left out. In fairness in this instance there wasn’t a complete exclusion as in the past and if everyone actually shows up we may see a reasonable balance in attendance. The amendment that all councillors could attend and have voting privileges is and should always have been the case and is appropriate.

It was nice to catch up with a number of members of the community and a big thanks to Paul for bringing back some of my corflutes from the election.  As the numbers stand now there will or could be a clear majority on many issues, however we’ve seen those alliances move in the past and only time will tell. Congrats to Ali Karnib who finally, after many many attempts was declared the Deputy Mayor, it will be interesting if and when he is called upon to chair the meeting as he is very well known for his lack of conversation and discussion throughout the past 8 years, so much so at the last of the previous council meetings Cllr Hadchiti voiced his desire  to support whatever it was Ali was talking about simply because he’d finally spoken out on something LOL.

We have a  long way to go, we will have to watch closely as the councillors settle into their new roles, the balance of some younger voices could be a good thing, especially if they temper their passion with a good ability to learn from those who went before them, especially as none of them had been regular attendees in the past. Now the big task of recruiting a new CEO or confirming this acting one if he applies. Michael has been a fair and even handed acting CEO from what I have seen and I wish him well in whatever he chooses to do, be that step back into his previous role, move on or even apply.  I had heard that Propel had been on the confidential part of the proceedings however for now I am not privy to the outcome, when and if I hear more I will most certainly share.

Onward and upward, 4 years goes pretty fast and a lot can be achieved or messed up so keep watching this space, I will be back in the rhythm of writing more regularly fairly quickly, however it has been nice to have a bit of a break. As always these are my opinions and views, if yours differs don’t hesitate to let me know and I will share them here for one and all to see.

 

Till next time…

 

Sign off


I love elections but not when they interfere with council

May 26, 2016

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It is no secret, I’m a political  nut, of the best sort of course. 🙂  I do enjoy debate, I enjoy the raising of political awareness and the focused attention of the community on things I find important everyday, not only at election time… HOWEVER  not when it becomes an impost on the behaviour of councillors. Now that Nadar (Ned) Mannoun has thrown his hat into the Werriwa ring his cronies on council use every opportunity to declare their opposition to campaigning by campaigning on his behalf and it’s just crap. Last night’s council meeting was again a battle of the ego’s. Cllr Ristevski occasionally raises some good points then loses focus by getting personal, that said, his personal vendetta against the Mayor regardless of likely being well founded, council is no longer the place. It does make me wonder what would be the difference if all this had been addressed properly back in the beginning by paying for the alarm system that got this #nolibloveinlivo started and put Cllrs Ristevski and Mamone on opposite sides of the political divide.

Cllr Ristevski, in my opinion has raised his issues, made the necessary political noise and needs to move on or take it completely outside council. These days all he’s managing to do is give Cllr Hadid a platform for yelling and pushing the Liberal agenda and as last night was no exception, his ranting as to whether issues were sent to ICAC or not and btw, they already have, just allowed another whole bunch of time being taken doing Neds bidding. Another issue was raised and one that while not personally surprised, Ned unlike his (candidate) council counterpart Anne Stanley (also the Labor candidate for Werriwa) chose to resign as a councillor he declares he will not. The concerns raised by Cllr Ristevski that  Ned should not be able to use council facilities and equipment to campaign was logical but his resignation was never going to happen. Its my view that  Ned Mannoun has been using his position in council for the last 4-8 years doing exactly what he has done here, raised his profile enough to ensure he was relatively well known enough when the time came to further his political career he could and we’ve been paying for it.  This however is not news, anyone who has ever spoken with him will know he has always had higher aspirations than ‘lowly’ council and he’s not the only one, many a councillor has moved on to further their political aspirations, some unwittingly as they truly started off with a local based focus and from that grew a passion for change, and some like Ned who always aimed higher as he has said to many. None of which is bad except when they deliberately use all means at hand to raise their profile, in this case via numerous media methods and more and at our cost not theirs. Again Ned is not alone there and whinging and whining will not make a difference , what is done is done. The key now it to ensure that this election is won and lost on policy not personality or public profile.  On this Ned will not have the benefit of media advisors, unless the LNP decide to assign him one, as has been the case in council.

This election needs to focus on who will work for our community and has the wherewithal to represent us diligently and passionately. Anne and I are residents of Werriwa and Ned is from a neighbouring electorate, Hughes actually and as his fellow Liberal Craig Kelly already has hold there we were advised (via the press)  some time ago that he was not to be contested.

We need to focus on the needs of our community, not the long term political aspirations of the candidates and on that all I can do is remind people of my unwavering dedication to our community as an unpaid diligent campaigner for us, all of us.

You will over the coming 6 weeks will be inundated I’m sure about all three of us and for that part my personal promotion for today ends here. I will of course over coming weeks meet as many of you as possible, share as many of our community focused policies with you and encourage you to get involved, ask questions and consider what is important for you and your family. Another thing that is worthy of mention is that you WILL NOT be inundated with paper from me, while my passion for all things local is clear, the absolute waste that elections bring is against all I believe in and we will bring you the minimum possible to let you know who I am and what I and the Greens stand for. A lot of what we present in this campaign (Werriwa and Fowler) will be electronic and I encourage anyone who has little or no internet access to contact me (or Bill Cashman) and we will post/drop by  information you request, for everyone else look on line, look here at this blog and of course via our facebook sites. Signe Westerberg for Werriwa and Bill Cashman for Fowler,  both are public pages so you don’t have to be friended to have a closer look. Our profiles and information are also available on the NSW Greens website http://www.nsw.greens.org.au (all our policiies are accessible there also) It is also worthy to mention here that as a Greens candidate for a house of reps seat I am accountable to my local group in presenting the policies of the NSW Greens, unlike the two old parties who work somewhat differently, we are locally guided by the people who live here with us in the communities we represent.

Back to council, the tit for tat nonsense that Cllr Hadchiti sees fit to impose is getting a little silly now, when Cllr Ristevski calls for one thing, Cllr Hadchiti insists it become a more or nothing request. I personally don’t have issue with all the information becoming public, much too much in my opinion at Liverpool council is done behind closed doors and secrecy, so bringing all the finite details into the public light is good even if as I feel will be the case, very few actually look at it.

There was a degree of back patting in relation to important things happening in Liverpool and our staff certainly do need to be recognised for the work they do, however both Councillors and staff are there to do exactly that, encourage businesses to Liverpool, address the needs of the community and get results. Some of these achievements have taken many years and while this council will take the credit it is important to acknowledge that much work has been done over many years and the ship is beginning to come home. Two councillors will appreciate some of the benefit as they run for higher political office however it is important to recognise that none of it was achieved in isolation. Over the many years I’ve been watching, commenting and participating we’ve had the benefit of some truly amazing staff, sadly many have gone on to other opportunities, others who diligently work day in day out to achieve real outcomes for us as a community and a number of councillors, some who worked very hard and others who  coasted along for the ride. Another issue I’ve been posting about for ever is the constant transferal of funds, even those for good causes, from the floor of council. We are not flush with dollars and it disturbs me greatly that councillors in this term and the last have seen fit to assign funds without the due diligence required through the sponsorships program. Laughingly last night it was Cllr Hadchiti who raised the budget limitations when Cllr Ristevski was seeking to provide funds for a group or two, while he and his comrades had done so on numerous occasions in the past. Alas council is not immune to political point scoring, it’s just that some of us have actually been there all along watching closely and taking note.

Details as to the actual outcomes of the agenda will be available probably tomorrow online and as I’ve been reminded that they do have the benefit of the tapes to ensure accurate details will be available for all to see once posted. Sadly what you don’t see is  the shenanigans of some of the councillors throughout the evening, I’m guessing that is one of the reasons podcasting the council meetings is a L O N G way off. LOL.

Keep in touch, if you were there and saw things differently let me know. If  you’d like more information on anything in particular I’ll do my best to provide it but please get involved, share the information and start engaging candidates, make us all accountable, make us all provide answers to the things that matter to you and your family. In my opinion  re-electing this present government could be catastrophic for our country’s future and I and my colleagues will be highlighting as much as we can to ensure that neither of the two old parties get to make those decisions carte blanche. and that the assumption that there is only two choices is well and truly blown out of the water at this election. Who was it that said ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome’?  [I checked it was Albert Einstein 🙂 ]

Change is necessary, change is timely and change is possible all it takes is the will of the people who have a desire for progressive, community focused outcomes. Remember the economy works for us, we don’t work for it.

Chat soon.

Sign off


Playtime is over.

April 24, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots (41 of 102)On reading this week’s business papers, there appears to be a bit of tit for tat going on, while those who don’t attend council meetings on a regular basis may not see it, the subtleties do exist. There is also a little pandering and a lot of nothing much. While I will leave you to read and decide which is, there is also a ‘must have’ for aspiring Mayors  and wannabe Mayors. $1320 will be the asking price for this training package and it will be interesting to see who puts their hand up and who doesn’t for this council jaunt. It is quite clear that there is an election in the wind and the scheduled council elections are set for September 10th.

There has  also a bit of back patting going on in regards to council amalgamations, while Liverpool Council has been left to stand alone for now,  I think it would be unwise to consider this a real win, everything I read makes me think this is only the first tranche of amalgamations and we aren’t completely out of the woods yet. It is in my opinion essential we support those councils and councillors facing amalgamations this time round, not are they wholly undemocratic but the idea that the Premier and his cohorts have supplied Expressions of interest forms for sitting councillors in those proposed to be amalgamated an enormously arrogant. The premier and his lot need to be reminded that we the people elect councillors they are not appointed by the Premier of the day. If you get an opportunity to express concern, I do hope you take it with both hands, if for nothing else as practice when the arrogance of this LNP government gets out of hand and they seek to put their grimy fingers on all councils, including our own.

I recently posted on my facebook pages the video supplied by MLC Jeremy Buckingham where he set the Condamine River alight… yes alight!. Seems the CSG mines over the hill are having a dreadful impact on the local environment and it is timely to remind all that the NSW Government is also complicit in allowing mining all around us and as close as Camden where the same effect is happening on the Nepean. The Thirlmere Lakes are all but empty also traced back to Local mining.

http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2F1profHP&h=2AQEkqz9F

As you are aware I have been preselected as the Greens candidate for Werriwa and I am mindful that we need loud voices in the Federal Parliament to put an end to the rape of our environment . I was thrilled to receive a comment of support from Prof Wendy Bacon as I work towards representing the people of Werriwa and do what is considered unthinkable… take away from Labor that belief that this is a safe seat and theirs for the taking.  I genuinely believe we will only get change in government thinking when  the community raises up and says enough is enough and there is no such thing as a safe seat, that the two old parties no longer represent  us as a community and we want and deserve more. I pledge that with every ounce of my being I will work towards representing this community, I will work towards raising awareness of our needs and I will, with your help stop the arrogance and the willingness to allow big business to do anything they want wherever they want. If you value public education, local jobs, our world class medicare, saving our environment, making homelessness history, you get paid for the work you do and those in need aren’t left behind. If you believe we all deserve an equal share of our country’s fortunes, marriage equality, clever transport options, access to work and affordable housing  it’s time you reconsidered where you place your vote, at least your No 1 Vote. (You can still preference your old party fave in the No2 Position and they’ll get the message) Across this country, people are beginning to see their quality of life being eroded, the futures of the children and grandchildren being undermined and across this country there are people like me who can and will take that old bull by the horns and truly represent our communities.

Please take a minute to pop by my candidate facebook page, Signe Westerberg Greens candidate for Werriwa  and click on Like… you will then be able to see what is happening locally and across the nation with Greens senators, State Members and local Greens representatives as I post links to the many things the mainstream media elects not to share. Keep an eye out here on my private web-blog and if you’re a tweeter I tweet as SigneWesterberg. Everything I do, I do in my own name, if you want to know where I stand on everything and anything, I’m not hard to find. Of course I would also love to hear from you if you have a specific question or concern email me at werriwa@nsw.greens.org.au.

As far as I am concerned, Playtime is over, we are in desperate need for someone who will ask the hard questions, someone who will speak up and truly represent Werriwa and she needs to be represented, we deserve that, not a seat warmer nor someone who thinks the seat is safe nor theirs for the taking simply because they are one of the two old parties.

See you out and about and if you’re up early tomorrow I will see you at the Dawn Service, where I will be  paying my respects and rueing the days that war is seen to be the only way to resolve disputes and our precious soldiers lives lost.

As always, these are my opinions and views, if yours differs please let me know and I will post yours here as well.

Sign off

 


Two hours we will never get back

March 31, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102)Last nights meeting was, let’s say, annoying. The first 2 hours were almost completely a waste of the communities time. Almost in that there was a couple of wins for the community. You won’t be seeing the #powermadmayors picture on everything anymore and he will have to get approval from the councillors when he wants to throw statements to the wind that will cost us money. The two items that took up those two hours were as I mentioned in my previous post. After spending 3 years supporting everything the Liberal councillors had on their agenda, Cllr Mamone has found her inner feminist, after blindly following and supporting every inane committee choice made by her colleagues, she’s  appears to have concluded that without the backing of the Lib  boys club she must now change tact and  appeal to women. Good on her I say, except I have to ask myself would she have found her inner feminist if she wasn’t on the outter with the Liberal boys club? I guess we will never really know. Its good news now that she’s realised that women are the way of the future in politics imo. The plus on council is she is now supporting her fellow female councillors not working against them. As Cllr Mamone advised she does read this blog, I’m sure if I’ve read this wrong she will email her version for inclusion. I am all for forwarding the role of women in politics, just a little sceptical when it takes so long or appears as an afterthought. That’s my two cents worth, others may see it a little differently and i invite them to comment also.

Cllr Ristevski continued his tirade against the #powermadmayor, here is another instance where unconditional support over a prolonged period comes to an ugly end. Not unjustly imo however my inner sceptic runs with the why was it all ok before and now not so. No Lib Love in Livo was a title of something I wrote some months ago, around that time I read that Cllr Ristevski’s tenure as a member of the Liberal party was at risk, now one has to wonder is all ok in the Land of state Lib Love and which of the two is on the outer. Thankfully I am not a member so the finite detail is not available to me, the fact remains that the majority party on our council can’t play nice in the playpen and it’s our community who is being dragged through the muck and mire while they spend time seeing who ‘s  ego is bigger.

Residents who had never attended a council meeting came out last night in the Rural area to see for themselves the working of their council… what a shock that was for some of them. After listening to the Liberal hatefest one family announced to me that they actually had work in the morning and couldn’t sit through anymore of this nonsense.

Cllr Hadchiti’s well planned list of achievements in WESROC was entertaining, he clearly felt under threat when his position on WESROC was being questioned and was intent on ensuring his list of achievements was well advertised. I’m sure those other committee members on WESROC would consider they played some part in those achievements but hey, if it makes him feel better to take all the glory who are we to argue. However his use of numbers was interesting and questioned, to establish his creds he counted the number of times Liverpool featured in a newspaper article, then multiplied that  by the readership of said newspaper and multiplied that again  by the number of articles. All I know is that 54M readers is pretty impressive for a nation of 24M. Some mockery was in order however he was not going to be moved and why not, that’s the benefit of statistics, they’re pliable.

After the two hour Lib vs Lib event and a very long 10 minute break ( closer to 25 but who’s counting) to no doubt  converse with the ABC journo,  things got underway and the councillors started working through the agenda. Of course by this time many of the community had given up and gone home.

Kudos of course to the amazing staff who managed to create a terrific feux council chambers, so much so some of the assets could be well used in the real council chambers, namely the large screen so the gallery could actually see what was being discussed and written.

A bit of a shock was the arrival of the newly dismissed (I mean left) CEO, I have to say I’ve never seen this happen before and let’s face it with this present Liberal majority we’ve seen a number of CEO’s given their marching orders.

12 items of confidence later and the agenda all but done (except for the Access Committee membership that had been moved into closed session)  and just on 11pm I left,  I’ve since found out that matter has been moved to the next council meeting. With all the yawning going on one would suggest that not only had they exceeded the reasonable time frame but some of the councillors were up past their bedtime. As always there were a few who stayed the long game, if you saw things differently or would like to comment please consider adding your opinion to mine.

Save our HUB membersToday I did however attend a briefing in relation to the Miller HUB, I had been invited along as the HUB at Miller as is about to be outsourced to an NGO. Interestingly that is not because there is an issue with how the service is being run, it is not because it costs too much but it has been so successful it is time for it to progress to the new step in its evolution into a self sustaining service. (short term for no longer free to access to a cost for service model imo)  The Miller HUB is a stand alone arm of the NSW health department, it provides the community with access to all manner of services and support. I get a bit (ok a lot) frustrated when organisations tick off boxes by calling it community engagement. The gentleman concerned was of course just doing his job, but there was little to be gained, it seems the decision has been made and your tax dollars instead of going directly to the community through the hub, will go via a for profit organisation. It was a real pleasure to contribute in some small way to support the HUB. Below is a letter being sent to the minister and I ask you to take a moment and add your signature, drop it off at the HUB in Shropshire St Miller or  post it directly to Jillian Skinner MP.  I will add more information as it comes to hand however your help in saving this service in our community would be appreciated. Especially as it is a viable working service that directly supports our community.

Miller Hub Letter

Miller Hub Letter

 

The minutes of last nights meeting will be up in a day or so, however here is the link to the ABC item  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-31/liverpool-council-passes-notion-to-remove-mayor-as-spokesperson/7286714

It would be nice to see our council gaining publicity for achievement not as it has recently for its disharmony.

Sign offtil next time


Council Meeting tomorrow night, more of the same

March 29, 2016

Signe 2016 outdoorsTomorrow night’s council meeting while being held at a the Bringelly Hall, a Rural venue, brings nothing new, sadly nothing new in the way of councillor behaviour that is. (On a side issue it will be interesting to see councillors out in the rural area, so few of them actually attend anything out ‘that far’ I’m guessing a lot of google maps/navman will be enlisted for the majority who  scarcely know it exists.)

I wrote some years ago  at the appalling manner in which the then Liberal majority of councillors were treating the then mayor Wendy Waller and how they were removing her as spokesperson for the people of Liverpool. I was disgusted then and am again, while some of what is being put forward is valid and necessary, ie removing the Mayor’s picture from everything, limiting his personal public exposure and opening up some items to represent the councillors as a whole, I do not agree with removing the role of Mayor as spokesperson. Why? Because like it or not, the majority of Liverpudlians voted this particular #powermadmayor into the role and it isn’t up to the councillors to remove that decision. That’s why we vote, democracy in its many flawed ways allows the majority of people to have their say, that’s how councillors get elected and in Liverpool that is how the Mayor is elected. I supported this then and support it now, the people of Liverpool chose to have a popularly elected mayor and compared to the rotating chair, who’s turn is it now, option undertaken by other councils it is the one I prefer. This popularly elected Mayor-dom is something I support, even when I don’t support the person elected to that role.

Sadly this proposal is imo yet another way Cllr Ristevski is taking his personal disdain/distrust/dislike for the #powermadmayor Mannoun to a new level, in that he is politicising himself as a means to depoliticise the present Mayor, another ugly use of council resources to self publicise and raise one’s own profile.. This is not on. I also question why WESROC delegation is being brought up on the agenda when our delegations to Committees etc is usually decided in Sept/October, after the election of New councillors or the anniversary of the election previously. I will go back and read the finer detail of that particular item to see if this too is another politically motivated item. With an election scheduled for 10/9/16 I can only imagine much more of this will be the case over the coming months  and it is my sincere hope that this Secrecy Council (11 items in confidence this week alone) is replaced with one intent on keeping the community informed not kept in the dark.

There are a few IHAP issues and a number of different subjects on the agenda however I am saddened that community  submissions relating to some important issues were not forthcoming on the Graffiti Strategy and the Tree strategy. While I’ve been focusing on a family member’s health issue no submissions were received on the Graffiti and only 1 on the Trees strategy, these are ones I would normally ensure I engaged. These and other issues are important to our environment and our community and it distresses me more people don’t take the time to review and comment. Liverpool Listens is opening up another avenue for discussion on some subjects however not all get posted to the online discussion paper from what I can see.

I will tweet from the meetings as always tomorrow night, however if you aren’t on Twitter, you can see  what I write/what is happening during the meeting on this page, on the right hand side the column lists everything I’m tweeting or posting on my facebook etc… so you don’t have to be connected to everything to see what is happening, it’s all available right here.

Until tomorrow….

 

Sign off


A slippery slope or desired outcome.

September 3, 2015

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)ringing phoneToday as I sat and waited for an answer on the 1300 362170 number to council I was surprised at the time it took to be answered. For a moment I thought I might have been on a telco call where they actually make money out of my waiting. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t in a desperate rush but hearing the recorded advert a couple of times was unusual…

When I got through (both times) to the helpful staff I decided to ask if there was a problem, I’d never waited so long before, only to be advised that they were short on staff, staff weren’t being replaced and they were working as quickly as they could….I wasn’t complaining as I know many of our staff work their proverbials off and then it dawned on me, that’s how Propel are going to make their money. Remember when we were assured there would be no layoffs or redundancies (well that’s a fib, we know of at least one redundancy) and I questioned how the agency were going to make money, it’s now clear that the more people who resign, walk away and simply can’t take it anymore, the more profit (when they aren’t being replaced) Propel will get, remember they only make money from the savings realised by council. So what we have now is few staff doing the jobs of several, no one being replaced, staff morale being eroded and woohoo $$$$ for Propel. (the latter is sarcasm) Keep in mind this work ethic (or lack there of) is now being investigated for other areas of our workforce, small wins by the 300 or so staff who attended the rallies last week and this still leaves our staff in a truly precarious position and it scares me.

I get a real sense of pride standing (sitting) alongside our staff as they protest the outsourcing proposals, I get another sense of pride as they stand up for the things that make Liverpool, Liverpool. I have to admit I cringe when their passion takes a temporary turn in the wrong direction and becomes inappropriate but I get the frustrations and no doubt their regret, but I cannot help but feel their sense of dread and despair. Liverpool has a proud history, we have dedicated staff and when a group or individual comes along intent on destroying that, our community stands up and takes notice. For the most part it takes a little while but once angered we will be heard.

Saving Parks (courtesy Daily Telegraph) Liverpudlians saving their parks

OUR PARKS AND GREEN SPACE OUTCOMES:

I was advised yesterday that the results from the public meeting relating to parks was now available.  Below are the recommendations of the facilitator… it seems we still have some fighting to do, IMO it was clever of council to call for these meetings mid winter, fewer attendees, better outcome for those wanting to sell our parks.  SELLING OUR GREEN SPACE IS NOT ON, we cannot sit by and allow this to happen. Blocks of land are being sold smaller and smaller, buildings filling almost the entire block in some instances, the trees and open space are essential. Seems to me and I’m sure there is an accepted ratio that if people bother to come out and speak against something they are pretty much representative of many many more, who either forgot, didn’t know or simply couldn’t wrangle the time to attend. From these results we the community didn’t win our argument, so we need to get along to council and speak up before the councillors actually vote on this, which is proposed for either the September or October meetings… so watch this space.

FROM THE REPORT.

file:///C:/Users/Signe/Pictures/Hannah%20Park.pdf

file:///C:/Users/Signe/Pictures/St%20Andrews%20Park.pdf
West

My specific recommendations are to: 1. Reclassify Acacia Park. Use the proceeds from sale to improve a local park in the area enclosed by Kurrajong Road and the M5/M7 Motorway. 2. Reclassify Mimosa Park. Use the proceeds from sale to embellish a local park. 3. Reclassify Baker Park. Retain though-block link between Hanna Avenue, Frazer Avenue and McAndrew Close if possible. Use the proceeds from sale to embellish a local park. 4. Retain Hannan Park as a park. 5. Reclassify McCarthy Park. Retain through-block link between Wonga Road and Jan Avenue. Use the proceeds from sale to embellish a local park.

East

My specific recommendations are to: 1. Retain Ferrington Park as a park. 2. Reclassify St Andrews Park. Use the proceeds from sale to embellish a local park. 3. Retain Wendlebury Park as a park. 4. Reclassify the proposed part of Regan Park. Use the proceeds from sale to embellish the southern section of the park, or another local park. Ensure that a clear sightline is retained between Newbridge Road and Lucas Street.

 

I am pretty disappointed by the above, I spoke at both events on all parks and Green space and strongly believe we cannot allow council to sell  off our assets, in this case our assets are fresh air, play space for children, safe thoroughfares and public areas for gathering, playing and enjoying. On the recommendations that a walkway, clear view through block link be maintained, perhaps the facilitator should have looked at the Old Green Valley area where narrow walkways have been systematically removed over the years and why.

This council’s penchant for selling our assets started some time ago, slowly but surely the coffers are being fattened (redirected) by the sale of Assets owned by the community…. remember the Green Valley Music Centre on Heckenberg Ave? That land has now been subdivided and sold off, originally council was going to develop the land but it eventually got sold off. This is happening all over our local government area, bit by bit YOUR ASSETS ARE BEING SOLD. Remember COUNCIL DOESN’T HAVE ANY MONEY, they simply have care and control of yours, via our rates and taxes. IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT TO HAPPEN WITH YOUR RATES MONEY? If not you need to speak up.

At the extraordinary meeting yesterday Cllr Hadid spent considerable time drawing a line between council and State and Federal, yet it seems to me, NONE OF THEM ARE LISTENING, its one of the few times I’ve been in council when around 300 people booed a speaker. While I am often one to draw a similar line, what Cllr Hadid failed to mention in his tirade was that all three levels of government are now Liberal and we’re not getting any better outcome for the alignment. A side issue: On a number of occasions recently Cllr Hadid has raised the hackles of the audience (in and out of council) I wonder if this will impact his position on the Liberal ticket come next September, he has a real flair for upsetting people?

Check out this weeks paper and you’ll see even more land being considered for reclassification, I’ll need to have a closer look before I comment, but rest assured I will check it out. IMO Our council direction is systematically being taken over by aspiring developer types, business interests,  single agenda operatives and a penchant for making things ‘pretty’ in time for the next election. Our community members are not fools, we know that all that glitters is not gold and being told something is good for us doesn’t necessarily mean it is.

WE ARE A WHOLE COMMUNITY, We are not just residents, we are not just business owners, we are a whole community and we need to respect each area of concern, not just that that will turn a quick profit, raise a political profile or enhance a personal venture.

TIME TO TAKE A STAND LIVERPOOL….. if you don’t will ‘they’ simply just stand on you as they walk towards their goal…the big question is, is their goal the same as yours or directly contrary to what you hold dear????

If you think differently share your view, I saw Cllr Harle voted in lockstep yesterday with the Liberal Majority which surprised me, I’m sure if he reads this he will happily explain why he supported the rescission motion and what his reasons were, sadly only Cllrs Stanley, Shelton, Karnib and Ristevski (yep he’s a Liberal Cllr) opposed, kudos to Cllr Stanley for her amendments but will it be enough….hmmm time will tell I guess. Two cllrs were not in attendance Cllrs Waller and Mamone… not surprising as under normal circumstances a 1pm meeting mid week wouldn’t be easy for me to attend either.

Lastly and briefly (LOL) Congrats to the two Police officers of the Year announced on Tuesday night at the Rotary Police Officer of the year Dinner,  these two are representative of a pretty fine bunch of Liverpool and Green Valley Police officers, it makes one proud. A good night was had by all I spoke with.

 

More soon.

 

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