A Special Council Meeting will be held in the Council Chamber, Braeside Avenue, Ringwood, on Monday 11 May 2015, commencing at 6:00pm and your presence is requested.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Switch Hearing Aid to ‘T’ for Reception
Braeside Avenue, Ringwood, 3134
PO Box 156, Ringwood 3134
DX 38068, Ringwood
1300 88 22 33
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS): 131 450
National Relay Service (NRS): 133 677
(03) 9298 4345
Croydon: Civic Square
Ringwood: 1 Civic Place, Ringwood
1. Acknowledgment of Country
3. Conflict of Interest
4. Officers’ Reports
Director Corporate Services
1. Draft Council Plan 2013-2017 (Year 3: 2015/16) and Proposed Budget 2015/16 4
Acting Director Planning & Community
1. Streetlight Petition 12
DIRECTOR Corporate Services – Marianne Di Giallonardo
Draft Council Plan 2013-2017 (Year 3: 2015/16) and Proposed Budget 2015/16
To provide Council with information regarding the draft Maroondah Council Plan 2013-2017 (Year 3: 2015/16) and proposed Budget 2015/16; and to seek Council endorsement for the public exhibition in accordance with Council’s Community Engagement Policy (2008) and the Right to Make Submission (S.223 Local Government Act 1989 (“the Act”)). This commences the legislative procedure for the formal adoption by Council.
This procedure incorporates the period of public inspection and invitation to the community to make submissions in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
Strategic / policy issues
The following directions contained in Maroondah 2040: Our Future Together and the Council Plan 2013-2017 (Year 3: 2015/2016) provide the strategic framework that underpins the purpose of this report.
Outcome Area: A well governed and empowered community
Our Vision: In 2040, Maroondah will be an empowered community that is actively engaged in Council decision making through processes that consider the needs and aspirations of all ages and population groups. Council will provide strong and responsive leadership, ensuring transparency, while working with the community to advocate for and ‘champion’ local needs.
Key Directions 2015 – 2016:
8.1 Provide enhanced governance that is transparent, accessible, inclusive and accountable
8.2 Ensure responsible and sustainable management of Maroondah’s resources, assets, infrastructure and natural environment
The Council Plan together with Maroondah 2040: Our future together, the Annual Budget and Annual Report, are Council’s high level strategic documents which draw together the community aspirations, preferred outcomes and key directions for the future. These high level strategic documents and associated processes form part of the Maroondah City Council’s Integrated Planning Framework (shown below).
Figure 1: Council’s Integrated Planning Framework
The Council Plan 2013-17 (Year 3: 2015/16) reflects the preferred future outcomes and key directions as identified by the community in the development of Maroondah 2040: Our future together. Priority actions identified in the Council Plan 2013-17 (Year 3: 2015/16) reflect Council’s contribution to progressing the aspirations identified in the Maroondah 2040 Community Vision. Reporting against the Council Plan and Annual Budget is undertaken annually through the Annual Report.
The Act requires the Council Plan 2013-2017 to include the strategic objectives of the Council (outcome areas), strategies for achieving the objectives for at least the next four years (key directions), strategic indicators for monitoring the achievement of these objectives (Council Plan indicators) and a Strategic Resource Plan describing financial and non-financial resources. At Maroondah, the Council Plan is updated annually in order to identify priority actions for the forthcoming financial year to achieve the four-year strategies and to reflect current community needs and aspirations.
The proposed Budget for 2015/16 is one of Council’s high level strategic documents. The community’s aspirations for Maroondah’s future direction and development are set out in Maroondah 2040: Our future together and this forms the foundation from which Council shapes its medium term plans for the municipality. The 2015/16 Proposed Budget then addresses the provision of financial resources for the next 12 months as well as articulating how those resources are to be spent in delivering services to the community.
The draft Council Plan 2013-2017 (Year 3: 2015/16) responds to the community aspirations identified in Maroondah 2040: Our future together, that was developed during 2013/14 involving considerable engagement with the local community.
To respond the long-term objectives (outcome areas) and medium-term strategies (key directions) outlined in the Council Plan, a number of priority actions are identified for the forthcoming 12 month period.
The following are the priority actions for Council in 2015/16:
· Complete construction, open and commence operations at Aquanation in Spring 2015
· Work in partnership to develop the Melbourne East Sport and Recreation Strategy
· Complete an Indoor Netball Feasibility Study
· Complete development of A.C. Robertson Athletics Pavilion
· Complete construction, open and commence operations at Realm, the new Ringwood Library, Learning and Cultural Centre, in late 2015
· Advocate for and facilitate private sector investment in the Ringwood Metropolitan Activity Centre
· Engage the community in the design of a new Croydon Town Square
· Complete a Karralyka redevelopment feasibility study
· Develop a Maroondah Open Space Strategy 2016-2021
· Continue to rollout the installation of energy efficient streetlights across Maroondah
· Complete development of the Maroondah Sustainability Strategy 2016-2020
· Accelerate the Footpath Construction Improvement Program
· Undertake traffic signalisation works at the intersection of Bedford Road and Great Ryrie Street
· Accelerate the Disability Footpath Access Improvement Program
· Oversee the completion of construction and opening of the Ringwood Town Centre
· Commence flood mitigation works in the Ringwood Metropolitan Activity Centre and in the Power Street Drainage Catchment
· Develop and commence implementation of a strategy to protect residential and commercial floor levels from flooding.
· Complete development of the Maroondah Housing Strategy
· Complete redevelopment of the East Ringwood Multi-purpose Pavilion
· Develop a Maroondah Reconciliation Plan 2016-2020
· Review and implement educational material on waste management for culturally and linguistically diverse communities in multi-unit developments in partnership with the Migrant Information Centre, Whitehorse City Council and Deakin University
· Review the Human Resources Strategy for 2016-2020 to cater for emerging needs
In addition to sound governance, management and fiscal responsibility, Section 127 of the Act requires Council to prepare a budget for each financial year commencing 1 July. Section 129 of the Act provides that Council follows a public consultation process prior to formal adoption. Section 130 of the Act provides that Council must adopt its budget by 30 June each year.
Issue / discussion
The Council Plan 2013-2017 is aligned with Maroondah 2040: Our future together that was adopted by Council in June 2014. This alignment ensures that the Council Plan continues to form part of an integrated approach to planning that is informed by community aspirations for Maroondah’s future.
The Council Plan 2013-2017 (Year 3: 2015/16) priority actions have also been subject to internal review by both Councillors and Council officers. There is further opportunity for revisions to be made to the document during the public exhibition period, which will run for the statutory period of 28 days, in this instance, 15 May 2015 to 12 June 2015.
It is intended that a final report be submitted to Council following this consultation period prior to submission of the final Council Plan 2013-17 (Year 3: 2015/16) to the Minister for Local Government by 30 June 2015 as required by Section 125 of the Act.
The Proposed Budget is a critical planning and resource tool of Council and is vital to the ongoing operational and financial viability of Council. It sets out the expected income and expenditure for the coming year and also incorporates Council’s rating strategy as well as estimating the net worth of the municipality at the end of the year. It is the culmination of Councillor Briefings (including discussions at the Councillor Conference) and detailed preparation by employees.
The Proposed Budget document as presented and to be placed on exhibition contains high level schedules, tables and comments on significant aspects of budget input and outcomes. Its contents are also consistent with the Strategic Resource Plan component of the proposed Council Plan 2013-2017 (Year 3: 2015/16) and demonstrates the provision of adequate resources to achieve the Plan’s objectives and activities for the next 12 months. Overall it is a balanced, sustainable and responsible way forward to ensure Maroondah continues to be a vibrant city with an active community, strong local economy and a diverse cultural life in a prosperous and sustainable environment. It provides for the capacity to deal with the challenges of the future and includes 22 major initiatives (priority actions) and 13 initiatives which were identified in the Council Plan.
Council has undertaken a significant review of the Long Term Financial Strategy which has seen a freeze on discretionary expenditure levels; change to some of the underlying assumptions, including the removal of the 2.5 per cent Infrastructure Levy; and provides for reduced level of annual rate increases into the future. In addition, Council has given careful consideration of the impact of the Victorian Government’s rate capping policy which will be effective from 2016/17. The adjusted underlying operating result, which is a measure of financial sustainability, shows a reasonable underlying surplus being achieved annually over the ten year period of the strategy. The Proposed Budget outcomes reflect these considerations.
The 2015/16 rating strategy is based upon no change to the Capital Improved Value basis, the use of a differential rate for vacant land and the continuation of assistance to ratepayers who qualify under Council’s financial hardship provisions. It is proposed to raise $65.18m in general rates. This is considered a responsible outcome given the external cost pressures and the aim to maintain or enhance service levels.
Further, Council’s established policy regarding garbage services is for all waste and recycling costs to be fully recovered through the application of a Garbage Charge in accordance with Council’s contractual arrangements. In accordance with this policy, garbage charges will increase in 2015/16 to $242.00 for a 120-litre bin, and $202.00 for an 80-litre bin. Should members of the community wish to reduce their service from a 120-litre bin to an 80-litre bin, they are encouraged to contact Council. Similarly should residents wish to increase their recycling capacity they are able to secure a second bin at no extra cost. Again, residents are encouraged to contact Council on 1300 88 22 33.
In addition to the rating strategy, the Proposed Budget also includes strategy documents on borrowings and infrastructure and other assets. These documents confirm that borrowings of $24.2m were drawn down in 2014/15 to partly fund the new regional aquatic and leisure centre - Aquanation at Ringwood with repayment of principal and interest over 15 years. User fees will rise to $21.67m, increased in line with the Rates & Charges increase or market levels and also with the opening of Aquanation.
The Budget provides for a Capital Expenditure program
totalling $37.077m. The program is funded externally via grants and
contributions to the extent of $5.098m and the balance
The net result for the 2015/16 year is planned at a $4.051m surplus which is a decrease from the 2014/15 Budget. It is anticipated that net surpluses will continue for the life of the Long Term Financial Strategy.
The planned financial position as at 30 June 2016 reveals Council will continue to be financially sound with projected net assets of $1.347b, a working capital ratio of 1.24:1, adequate cash and investments to meet its cyclical cash flow requirements, and borrowings in line with agreed loan repayment schedules. It is submitted that the Budget paints a picture of prudent financial management that will underpin and facilitate the application and attainment of the future outcomes, key directions and priority actions detailed in the Council Plan and beyond. Hence the 2015/2016 Budget has ensured financial sustainability across Council’s entire areas of operations and responsibility and in accordance with its long term financial strategy, has kept its own source revenue levels realistic.
Financial / economic issues
The resources required to undertake the Council Plan and Budget process are contained within the current budget.
Environmental / amenity issues
These are contained within the Council Plan and Budget and articulate the Council’s current directions.
Social / community issues
These are contained with the Council Plan and Proposed Budget and articulate Council’s current directions.
The community consultation process for both the draft Council Plan 2013-17 (Year 3: 2015/16) and Proposed Budget 2015/16 will include:
· Public exhibition of the draft Council Plan and Proposed Budget on Council’s website as well as at all Council Service Centres and local libraries.
· Advertisements in the local papers seeking comments or feedback from the community on the Draft Council Plan and Proposed Budget.
To this end, an advertisement will be placed in ‘The Age’ newspaper on Thursday 14 May 2015 advising the community that documents are available for viewing on Council’s website, and will also be available from any of Council’s Service Centres and Libraries on this date.
Both written and online comments on both documents will be received at the Civic Centre up until 5pm, 12 June 2015.
The community consultation process will be formalised through public submissions under Section 223 of the Act. A meeting to hear submissions will take place at 7.00pm on Wednesday 17 June 2015 at Maroondah City Council Offices. Anyone wanting to make a submission to the Council should advise of this requirement in their written submission, giving a name and contact number.
Written submissions should also be addressed to:
Mr Steve Kozlowski
Chief Executive Officer
PO Box 156
RINGWOOD VIC 3134
During the public consultation period (i.e. 15 May to 12 June 2015) residents and property owners may obtain further information about the Proposed Budget by appointment.
Once the community feedback is considered, the documents will be amended as appropriate and be brought back to Council for formal endorsement. At this stage, this is planned for the Council Meeting on 22 June 2015.
The draft Council Plan 2013-2017 (Year 3: 2015/16) and Proposed Budget 2015/16 have been prepared for community consultation. They reflect Council’s commitment to pursue excellence, good governance and responsible management of resources for the community within the City of Maroondah.
Given Council’s legislative obligations it is appropriate to place the draft Council Plan 2013-2017 (Year 3: 2015/16) and Proposed Budget 2015/16 on public exhibition.
Both Draft documents have been circulated earlier to Councillors under separate cover on 30 April 2015, following which Councillors received a briefing at the Assembly of Councillors held on the 4 May 2015, at which time the consensus view of Councillors was to include a statement in the Draft Budget 2015/16 in regard to the Land Fill Levy, which is a levy collected by Local Government for and on behalf of the State Government.
That COUNCIL, WITH RESPECT TO:
1. THE DRAFT COUNCIL PLAN 2013-2017 (Year 3: 2015/16) AND PROPOSED BUDGET 2015/16
i. AUTHORISES THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO GIVE PUBLIC NOTICE OF THE PREPARATION OF THE PROPOSED PLAN AND BUDGET
ii. APPOINTS A COMMITTEE OF the whole COUNCIL to CONSIDER ANY SUBMISSIONS AND HEAR FROM ANY PERSON/S WHO HAS/HAVE REQUESTED TO BE HEARD IN SUPPORT OF THEIR SUBMISSIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 223 OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1989
iii. DETERMINES THAT SUCH COMMITTEE WILL CONSIDER ALL SUBMISSIONS RECEIVED AT A MEETING TO BE HELD IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER ON WEDNESDAY 17 JUNE 2015 AT 7PM
iv. NOTES THAT ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE COMMITTEE TO ADOPT THE COUNCIL PLAN AND/OR BUDGET will BE CONSIDERED AT A MEETING OF COUNCIL TO BE HELD ON MONDAY 22 JUne 2015 AT 7:30PM
2. THE Draft Council plan 2013- 2017 (year 3: 2015/16) and PROPOSED BUDGET 2015/16, as attached to this resolution and initialled by the mayor for identification purposes, including any subsequent amendments which, if applicable, are to be detailed in a schedule to this resolution, shall be the budget prepared by council for the purposes of section 127 of the local government act 1989
acting DIRECTOR Planning & Community – andrew fuaux
This report addresses various matters raised in the petition and letters of support for Streetlight and their desire to provide free food (barbecues) each Friday afternoon and evening. The barbecue is for people in need of support and friendship, and thereafter Streetlight offers personal contact and company on street to those wishing to engage with the barbecue.
A recent request by Streetlight to formalise this practice and obtain a Street Activities Permit has been refused on various grounds including concerns raised by the Croydon Main Street Traders Association and the Croydon Partners in Safety Committee.
Strategic / policy issues
The following directions contained in Maroondah 2040: Our Future Together and the Council Plan 2013-2017 (Year 2: 2014-2015) provide the strategic framework that underpins the purpose of this report.
Outcome Area: A safe, healthy and active community.
Our Vision: Maroondah is a safe, healthy and active community with local opportunities provided for people of all ages and abilities to have high levels of social, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Key Directions 2014 – 2015:
1.4 Encourage and support the implementation of initiatives and programs aimed at improving the actual and perceived safety of the community.
Council at its meeting of 16 February, 2015 formally received and acknowledged petitions from Mr Goldsmith of Streetlight (including some separate letters of support), in relation to Council’s refusal to grant a Street Activities Permit in October 2014. In essence Mr Goldsmith is seeking Council to reconsider its request.
Streetlight, as represented by Greg Goldsmith, does not have a typical church base or congregational point in Maroondah and has described itself as a church without walls.
Streetlight has conducted barbecues in the in Main Street for approximately 4 and half years.
Issue / discussion
The Street Activities Permit request
Between February 2012 and September 2014 the Streetlight barbecue regularly operated on the west side of Main Street Croydon opposite the intersection of Hewish Road, close to the Centreway Arcade. At times a large area of the footpath was cordoned off with hessian barriers delineating the activity. Being conducted late on a Friday from around 6pm to 8pm, the barbecue became more popular over time and often attracted groups of people who would stay at the barbecue site for hours at a time.
With the growth of the barbecue and the changing trading conditions in Main Street, it came to Council’s attention that a current Street Activities Permit was required to be obtained pursuant to the General Local Law 8. The request for a Street Activity permit was received and officers determined the application in October 2014 assessing against Council’s Street Activities Policy which came into force on 1 July 2014.
Croydon Main Street
The importance of the Croydon Activity Centre and moreover Main Street shopping precinct is highlighted in the Maroondah Planning Scheme. The planning policy framework describes the community vision for Main Street and importantly it specifies activities to support this vision. At a broad level the planning scheme vision aims to support activities that strengthen the retail, business, and employment roles of the Croydon activity centre.
This policy recognises that a vibrant, attractive and pedestrian friendly Main Street Croydon is crucial for the success of the Croydon Major Activities Area. Main Street is recognised as the crucial commercial focus of the centre with a diverse range of shops, banks and other services. It also recognises that an increasing evening trade with facilities such as new restaurants, bars and late night trading are helping to improve the commercial viability and importance of the centre.
As the barbecue was located on a prominent section of Main Street, adjacent to the a very busy pedestrian thoroughfare, it is important to determine if the proposed land use and resulting congregations would achieve the communities long term planning vision.
The operation of this barbecue and on-street gathering was not seen as compatible with the future vision for Croydon Main Street. Specifically it was not seen as a land use that would encourage more late night trading, and a general increase in pedestrian activity and late night shopping. Large informal congregations are unfamiliar activities in areas such as this and can serve to dissuade people to enter or walk through such areas. If Croydon Main Street is to fulfil its potential and meet the community vision, then visitors to Croydon will need to perceive a sense of safety and freedom of movement throughout the area.
Streetlight offers a free barbecue to those who wish to stop and engage with Mr Goldsmith who aims to “help many people who find they are in circumstances that they don’t know how to solve”. The contact provided on-street may be needed and may also be beneficial, however Mr Goldsmith is not the only person or organisation available to provide contact and assistance to the community. There are many other well organised and resourced organisations with access to support networks and services, including counselling services, available to people in need in Maroondah. A number of these organisations are in the immediate Croydon area, with many located close to Main Street, Croydon.
Council promotes many of these established and well connected organisations who not only provide free meals, but crucially provide immediate access to support or referrals. Examples of these service providers include:
· Helping Hand – Mount View Street;
· Anglican Church of St John (a range of services using this site) – Kent Avenue;
· The Kiosk (sponsored by Local Churches) – Allan Jackson Room;
· Vive Cafe – Surrey Road West The Hope Centre – Lusher Road: &
· Maroondah Citizens Advice Bureau – Mt Dandenong Road.
Council Officers, Victoria Police and various community service providers will often provide the above information to members of the community in need. The above services are immediately available to attend in Croydon and access or referrals can also be made to a wide range of other regional providers such as Wesley Mission, Salvation Army, EACH, and Connections.
Council has received a broad range of community feedback regarding the Streetlight barbecue and counselling in Main Street offered by Mr Goldsmith.
Two separate petitions and three letters of support for the barbecue and the counselling services have been provided to Council by Mr Goldsmith. One petition contained signatures from 37 of the 186 businesses in the Croydon Main Street precinct. The details of people signing this first petition appear to be a mix of business owners or their employees. The second petition contains 55 signatures of support from members of the public who utilise Main Street and support Streetlight.
Correspondence has also been received from Croydon Partners in Safety who raised concerns regarding the barbecue. The concerns raised included the gathering of groups of people, anti-social behaviour of some people, alcohol consumption in the area, the cordoning off of a prominent public space and the impact on visitors to Croydon and businesses. Croydon Partners in Safety includes representatives from Croydon Main Street Traders Association, Council, Victoria Police and welfare organisations such as Elisha Care.
The Main Street Traders Association also wrote to Council to express their concerns in particular regarding the gathering and lingering of people prior to and after commencement of the barbecue, beginning in the early afternoon, and further becoming an issue if alcohol is being consumed.
Council Officers also sought feedback from Victoria Police. The advice received was that significant efforts and police resources have been put into improving safety, and the perception of safety, in what is one of the busiest pedestrian areas in Croydon (strategies employed included adding piped music, removal of seats and a concerted effort to move on groups that were drinking and behaving inappropriately). In general, these strategies have assisted. Victoria Police also advise that these strategies were consistent with Crime Prevention through Urban Design Principles to create an environment which aims to improve both safety and the perception of safety in an area. Victoria Police have therefore suggested that in light of this past work, that Main Street Croydon is not an appropriate area for the activities that encourage gathering of groups on a regular and lengthy basis.
Council Officers have undertaken an investigation to determine if there may be another suitable site within the Croydon Main Street area for Streetlight to operate. Council Officers have been cognisant of the matters raised throughout this report and these factors along with the changing trading and commercial conditions with more late night trading on Friday evenings have meant that a suitable location has been difficult to find.
Mr Goldsmith made a deputation to Council on Monday 4 May and during this presentation he indicated that if Main Street Croydon was not seen as a suitable location for the barbecue, he would be willing to work with Council Officers to find a more suitable location.
Council Officers have also spoken with Mr Goldsmith on a number of occasions and have suggested alternative locations to Main Street, and furthermore have encouraged Mr Goldsmith to seek out partnerships with other service organisations in the area that may be able to offer more suitable sites. The house owned by Jim Burns is an example of a location not on Main Street suggested to Mr Goldsmith.
Mr Goldsmith believes that Streetlight is best able to engage with people if they are located on Main Street or in the area around the shopping precinct. As such, if an alternate location can be found that is supported by affected parties such as Croydon Partners in Safety, Victoria Police (Croydon), businesses, sporting groups, committees of management and the like, a permit may be considered.
Financial / economic issues
Environmental / amenity issues
Social / community issues
The Street Activities Permit sought by Mr Goldsmith of Streetlight has not been granted for a variety of reasons. In the main, these reasons relate to the compatibility of the barbecue and the resulting gathering of groups of people with the current and future community vision of Main Street Croydon. This decision has also taken into account community feedback received by Council. Mr Goldsmith is encouraged to work with Council Officers to find an alternative location or form future partnerships with existing service providers.
1. DOES NOT SUPPORT A BARBECUE ENCOURAGING THE REGULAR GATHERING AND LINGERING OF GROUPS OF PEOPLE IN MAIN STREET CROYDON
2. ENCOURAGES STREETLIGHT TO SEEK ALTERNATIVE LOCATIONS FOR THE BARBECUE AND OR ENTER INTO PARTNERSHIPS WITH EXISTING COMMUNITY SERVICE PROVIDERS
3. OFFICERS ARE AVAILBLE TO PROVIDE ADVICE ON THE SUTABILITY OF OTHER LOCATIONS AND THE OTHER PARTIES AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO BE CONSULTED BEFORE SUCH LOCATIONS COULD BE APPROVED