Mr Michael Picton
June 2013 Mitcham Community News
History Month has provided a great opportunity to learn about the past in the Mitcham Council area. ‘About Time 2013’ showcased a wide range of events across the Council area. The launch of the Blackwood Historical Walk brochure was an exciting way to highlight the history of early Blackwood, planned in 1879 in response to the proposed railway line completed in 1883. Mitcham is rich in history and we are fortunate to have preserved much of our heritage. Congratulations to Therese Willis and the Heritage Team at the Mitcham Cultura lVillage for hosting and putting together such a fantastic program for this year’s History Month.
It was fitting for Mitcham that History Month is held in May. Mitcham Council celebrated 160 years since the Proclamation of the formation of the District Council on May 12 1853. Mitcham was the first district Council in the state. How things have changed in those 160 years! Back in 1853 there were only 3000 people living in Mitcham, with three schools but there were 12 public houses/hotels. Today we have over 65,000 people living in Mitcham with over 40 education facilities and only 4 hotels. Our priorities have certainly changed!
On a personal note, May 2013 is the tenth year since I became an Elected Member at Mitcham. It has been an honour to represent the people of Mitcham, firstly as a Ward Councillor and more recently as the Mayor of this great City. I look forward to serving Mitcham residents for many years to come.
Council is set to adopt the 2013/2014 budget early in July. Emphasis this past year has been in working to return the Council budget to surplus by 2014/2015. This will be a significant turnaround from the deficit adopted in the 2012/2013 budget. Council is committed to achieving this while also addressing its infrastructure backlog and continuing to provide quality services for residents. In the last 12 months over $650,000 in savings have been found by critically looking at operations and finding efficiencies within the organisation while not impacting on service delivery. This exploration of Council operations will continue with further savings already identified as part of the current draft budget for the next financial year.
These savings and efficiencies made now will allow Council to make significant investments in new or enhanced services in the years to come while allowing it to remain within sustainable financial borrowing limits that have previously been set.
Council has identified that further investment needs to be made in stormwater infrastructure improvements across the City and to the completion of the Mountain Bike Trails program that Council initiated a number of years ago.
Volunteers Thank You
We are fortunate that so many people in Mitcham volunteer by giving freely of their time and expertise to others. Council will this year show its appreciation to our wonderful group of volunteers by hosting a film screening at the Wallis Theatre at Mitcham on Thursday 6 June. This year, apart from seeing the film ‘Gatsby’ and enjoying a special morning tea, local radio star Peter Goers will be a guest speaker who is set to entertain everyone. If you think you may like to help out and assist Council please phone Melissa Jensen on 8372 8860 to find out what is available. We presently have over 300 volunteers helping in over 30 different areas throughout Council. Volunteering is a great way of helping others and giving something back to the community. If you are a volunteer in the community thank you for all your hard work and dedication – it is very much appreciated.
Wish List – Elections
Often I have requests from Mitcham residents to consider improvements to our roads and community facilities such as libraries, sporting clubrooms and their grounds. While they are seen as local issues they can be progressed when partnerships with other levels of government are made.
Council has identified a number of key projects it would like our Federal and State elected candidates to consider in the upcoming elections. The re-alignment of the Daws/Springbank and Goodwood Roads intersection, greater use of the Women’s Memorial Playing Fields and the redevelopment of the Blackwood Library are high on our list of projects that we would like addressed.