Mr Michael Picton
June 2014 Mitcham Community News
Council’s 2014/2015 Budget
Council’s Draft Budget and Draft Long Term Financial Plan have been on display again this year for residents to view and make comment on. While the Budget is still to be ratified by Councillors, the Council had budgeted for $54.6 million in expenditure as well as investing $18.07 million in capital works. The 2014/2015 Budget is based on a 4.24% residential rate rise and a 6.8% commercial rate increase.
The recent Australian Government Budget, released a week ago, will impact negatively on the revenue of Council by approximately $458,000. The biggest impact will be a $350,000 reduction to the Local Roads Supplementary Funding program. The freezing of major grant funding levels for the next three years will have unknown implications for Council.
Mitcham Council will now need to re-consider its budget in light of this significant cost shifting by the Federal Government.
Council has just endorsed the new Mitcham Youth Plan for 2014/2017. This Plan sees Council commit to implementing 31 actions that are aimed at ensuring the best possible outcomes for our young people who live, work, study or play in Mitcham. According to figures from the latest census, Mitcham has 10,748 young people aged between 12 and 24 years of age residing in the Council area (17.1% of the population).
The contributions young people make to the community are not insignificant. Council is committed to supporting our younger people to be active and engaged.
It was good to see so many people come along to a recent meeting of Council and speak to Councillors about proposals to heritage list a number of properties in Mitcham as part of the latest Heritage Plan Amendment Report (PAR). While it is sometimes controversial, the listing of properties as part of a Heritage PAR is intended to go some way to protecting the heritage of the Council area.
It has been eight years since the last review of heritage properties was undertaken in Mitcham. Since that time, there have been a number of additional properties identified by experts requiring listing.
The interim Heritage DPA is in place for 12 months and properties listed are protected from demolition and inappropriate development. Council, and the State Planning Minister, will look at each listed property carefully before any final decision on its listing is made.
MyLocal Services App
Have you ever been the first person in your street to put out your bin on rubbish night and wondered which one it should be, the green waste or the yellow lidded recycling bin? Have you ever wondered how to report a pot-hole in the street but didn’t know how to go about it? To help situations like this, there is a great new App (application) called MyLocal that the Local Government Association, along with Mitcham Council, has created. This gives anyone with a smartphone the opportunity to find out information or report a problem immediately to the local Council.
MyLocal is designed to allow you to take a photo of the problem with your phone, pinpoint its exact location using global positioning and include any additional information you think Council should be aware of. This information is then automatically sent to Council for staff to act upon. At Mitcham you can find out what’s happening at Council, who your local Elected Member is and other Council matters. MyLocal is free and easily downloadable from ITunes or the Google Play Store.
Thank you to our Volunteers
We’re lucky in Mitcham to have the great support of people prepared to volunteer to help out and assist others in the community. National Volunteer Week on May 12 – 18 was the catalyst for Council to acknowledge and thank our 355 registered volunteers for their work and commitment to helping the Council across a wide range of areas.
People volunteer for a number of reasons. It may be too simply to give something back to the community, to experience personal growth, to learn new skills or just have fun. Whatever the reason, we all benefit from people volunteering.
While I don’t volunteer per se with Council, I’ve been helping out at the Mitcham Meals on Wheels now for a few years, helping the Friday morning crew cook some delicious meals. These are delivered by other volunteers to some of our senior residents living in Mitcham. Every day in my role as Mayor I see the good work Council volunteers do within our community.
Council really appreciates and values the work volunteers provide to our community. People such as Mitcham Council car and bus drivers and helpers, library helpers, parks and reserves teams, our heritage assistants and community clubs supporters. Council’s community programs depend upon the participation of compassionate volunteers. I sincerely thank our volunteers for their contribution towards looking after others and creating a strong and caring community.