Mr Glenn Spear
On Monday 27 February we finally had State Government confirmation of funding for the Brownhill Creek and Keswick Stormwater Management Plan. The consensus was reached nearly two years ago between the five Councils involved in the project. The decision was not to proceed with a dam in Brownhill Creek, instead the creek would be cleared and widened in section to improve water flows. Unfortunately the State Government views the project as a 20 year programme. In my view this is too long and I hope to reach a more favourable outcome for our residents.
We now have a formalised sports strategy. There are some inequities between clubs with some paying next to nothing and others paying a higher rent to Council. I am a great supporter of sporting clubs and am mindful of economic decisions that Council makes. I believe that we will reach outcomes acceptable to everyone. It was pleasing to hear that two facilities/clubs received funding for improved facilities in the recent round of Federal and State initiatives. Congratulations on their success.
Council has employed a traffic management officer, his expertise will be greatly utilised. Traffic and parking issues are significant concerns in Mitcham. I hope that added resources will help with reaching conclusions acceptable to most. We are in the midst of the major Darlington Upgrade Project and Council is working with DPTI to achieve better outcomes for our residents. At Council meetings this year we have had significant debate on access/ egress to and from streets in Bedford Park. Parking controls ad has certainly been a hotly debated topic.
We are about to move into budget discussions. Councillors will make decisions about various capital works programmes, new initiatives and of course repair and maintenance of assets such as roads and footpaths. I am a strong advocate for keeping our rates as low as possible. Council like many businesses is not immune from cost increases. Our electricity charges will rise by approximately $250,000 this year, coupled with a similar increase in our government waste management levy it is a tough balancing act.
My new year’s Council resolution was to review our use of consultants and legal advice in Council. I believe we “consult” too much. I will bring a motion to Council calling on full disclosure of such costs in every discussion motion before Council.
I used my casting vote to defeat a motion to spend $2 million or more on a bikeway from Belair to Mitcham. The gradient would have been at least 15% in places and numerous biking groups and other potential users said this was far too steep to be practical. I really think this would have been a huge cost to ratepayers with a very small group of people physically capable of using the pathway. I feel I have a responsibility to the vast majority of residents when such a large amount of money is involved.
Please refer to my facebook page where regularly update significant events in Mitcham.