Mr Glenn Spear
Welcome to the second edition of the Mitcham Community News for 2016. It is currently a very busy time for Elected Members as we are currently reviewing the budgets for the coming financial year. As well as approving the operating budget, Councillors have put forward and will vote on the various capital works programs for 2016/2017.
In the coming weeks Council must allocate funds for new capital works programs, maintenance of existing assets and of course consider other expenditure requirements. The process is demanding and a good council such as ours must consider all of these factors.
I am pleased to report that Council is operating in surplus. We have identified and implemented various cost saving opportunities during the last financial year and have implemented a financial plan that allows for replenishment of our extensive asset base and allows for future debt reduction. Many councils report balance sheets that do not account for asset replacement and that can artificially inflate performance figures.
Of course rates account for most of our income. Councillors will vote on a percentage increase to each household rate levy. I continue to support keeping that increase as low as possible, particularly given the current economic climate. Others support the view that the increases should be higher to allow new capital expenditure. The rate decision will come before Council in the next few months.
At this time of writing this report we are undertaking community consultation and seeking feedback on the preferred option for the upgrade of Springbank Road. The Daws Road / Springbank Road intersection has been noted and is well documented as a problem area. This intersection is a State Government responsibility and Council is pushing hard for a solution to this road junction. Council has contacted Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith, who has agreed to make representation to the Minister for Transport, Hon Stephen Mulligan and we hope that we can get some form of action and improvement on this long-term problem area.
We are reviewing the Blackwood Commercial Centre. We are hoping to bring the various business and property owners to the table. We have identified the need for a strategy that brings the commercial area of Blackwood into a more engaging community precinct. It is not a simple process, there are more than thirty individual property owners involved, however Council will persist.
Tracey and I continue to meet many of our community members at various functions in Mitcham and thank you for your hospitability and for your warm welcome.
I thank all of the members of our community who are so actively involved in this vibrant city.