Report on April 2015 PAE Council Meeting
Sorry for being so late again with my Council report. What didn’t help was accidentally deleting it all when I had finished it the first time! Then again, and again…
April 14th’s Council meeting promised a very long meeting but in the end it wasn’t anything on the agenda that stretched the meeting out, but the issue that took the most time to discuss was an urgent late item on funding some soccer goals on Blair Athol Reserve…45 minutes.
If you would like a copy of the whole minutes (minus my commentary) – they can be downloaded here:
What I have discussed below is the issues most relevant to Northfield Ward in my opinion.
Item number is item on Council agenda (X – issue concluded, > – issue ongoing):
12.1.3 TRANSFORMING HEALTH
In my critique of the agenda in an earlier post, I made some comments at the lack of response from the Minister for Health to our letter asking him (or delegate) to attend a workshop with Councillors about Transforming Health, which we asked for at our February Council meeting. Eight weeks without a response I said, rather aggrieved.
Cr Matt Osborn in moving that we give the Minister another 4 weeks to respond before we decide what to do next, noted that Council staff had taken until, wait for it, March 30th – to send the rather simple letter. That is 33 working days!
Good pickup from Cr Osborn but very, very disappointing that it took so long for Council staff to write the letter and it is little wonder we haven’t had a response in less than two weeks from the Minister. Sorry, Minister Snelling, as much as I may disagree with some of your Transforming Health package, I did unfairly slate you. >
12.3.8 & 12.3.10 STATE RECORDS ACT & ELECTED MEMBERS’ INFORMATION MANAGEMENT POLICY
You are probably wondering why this is of much interest to you. It may not be, but your local Councillors have to comply with an increasing plethora of rules and regulations forced upon us by the State Government, apparently for our own good. Some of this is for the overall good (eg ICAC) and some is not so apparently even useful.
Part of our responsibilities are, we are told, thanks to the State Records Act, is to record every piece of written correspondence between us and anyone else – and send them to Council staff to record. This includes emails, web pages, Facebook posts, tweets, Instagrams…and of course those old fashioned things called letters (if you’re over twenty years of age you may recall those). Even Post It Note messages between Councillors at a Council meeting, evidently, have to be recorded by staff. Staff have also demanded that we have to cc in a generic staff email address if we are sending/receiving emails to other elected members or members of the public even when we are using Council’s own internal email system!
As one of my followers on Twitter asked, “what province of North Korea do you belong to?”
These provisions do not apply to State MPs when acting in their capacity as State MPs – despite the fact they have taxpayer staff to attend to their needs, and of course we do not.
So, I have asked that we ask the State Government that they amend the relevant act so that both State MPs have to comply like local Council elected members do now, OR Council elected members do not have to comply like State MPs do now. Simple.
I have worked out for me to comply with these ridiculous laws/guidelines will take me an extra two hours a week. Whilst we are waiting on Council staff to bring back legal advice to justify some of their requests which I don’t believe are required by the State Records Act, I am yet to work out who/what is going to miss out on two hours of my time each week. >
12.3.14 2015 YEAR OF THE PORT
Despite some elected members having reservations when this was first mooted by the Mayor, his idea to spend a little money just to add the words “Year of the Port” to the signature of Council staff email and couple of banners was approved without debate. X
13.2 CORRESPONDENCE – PENSIONER CONCESSIONS FOR COUNCIL RATES – MS FONOVIC
After a campaign which included a massive statewide petition organised by the Local Government Association, smaller petitions such as this one from this energetic, elderly lady of Kilburn, all of SA’s Council and a few others, the State Government on May 12th announced that Pensioner concessions on Council rates would be replaced by a one off annual ‘Concession Payment’, being of $200 for homeowners and $100 for others.
For more information on eligibility, see here:
Not only was this a great win for pensioners and others, but I think credit is due to the State Government as I believe this new scheme is not only broader and pays more to those eligible, but is also more efficient to manage than the previous scheme. One can hardly criticise them for saying that they would withdraw the pensioner concession on rates, if they introduce a better scheme!
A bonus is they’ve also withdrawn those annoying TV ads… X
14.1 NOTICE OF MOTION – PORT ADELAIDE ENFIELD HOTSPOT PROGRAM – CR OSBORN
The idea is to allow those people who cannot afford home internet access, especially students and jobseekers, to a Council run program, which is running successfully in New York City. When the staff return with a report on this I am looking to extend it to people with a disability and others who find it difficult to regularly access Council’s free internet service at its libraries. Very good idea Councillor Osborn! >
14.2 NOTICE OF MOTION – COUNCIL MEETING EASTERN PART OF COUNCIL AREA – CR BASHAM
Went through with only Cr Jamieson querying the extra cost to hold the meeting over this side. Last year one or two people from the Port side seemed a bit miffed to have to travel so far. This meeting, which proved popular with last year with a lot of locals attending, will be on October 13th at the Klemzig Community Hall. X
14.6 NOTICE OF MOTION – KIRKBY CIRCUIT COMMON WALL GREENACRES – CR. BASHAM
This wall (actually two) were constructed as part of the then Defence Housing Authority development along Muller Road and Manoora Street, Greenacres over twenty years ago, to the west of Hampstead Primary School.
Even though Council staff and volunteers removed graffiti quickly, the colour of the paint used varied over the years and Council is not legally liable to fix the holes that were increasingly being added to the fence by vandals.
Local residents approached me to seek Council assistance to fix the wall, and after taking my advice to form an association, did that and began work repairing the wall, to their great credit. A special shout out to Ian Woodstock and David Couzens for their work.
Despite Council staff opposition, I was proud to successfully lead Council to supply 100 litres of paint to this group with up to an extra 12 litres per annum for the next five years so the residents can paint the wall and keep it looking good.
At the time of publication, painting is almost finished; the picture below shows the holes patched over ready for final painting. X
14.7 NOTICE OF MOTION – ACCESSIBLE CITIES – CR BOAN
This is a scheme whereby Council assists local businesses in making their premises disability accessible. Good move Cr Boan! >
That’s it for this meeting, hopefully I don’t have the same problems with my May Report!
That’s what I think, but what do you think?