Wingecarribee Shire Council has adopted 11 key actions to improve transparency, communications and community participation in Council decision-making.
Council’s Interim Administrator Viv May said the improvement actions had been developed by an in-house project team in the wake of Council’s recent Community Research results.
“Last year I called for the release of the 2021 Community Research results,” Mr May said. “At the time I said the findings painted an unflattering picture of Council and councillors and much work was needed to turn around this perception.”
“I’m pleased to say that these adopted Improvement Actions are a positive step towards restoring the public’s trust in their Council.”
The Community Research results highlighted the performance of councillors, opportunities to participate in decision-making, enforcement of development and building regulations, communications and information provided to residents as key areas of improvement.
The cross-functional project team focused on the areas of public decision-making, communications and provision of information when detailing the 11 improvement actions.
Recommendations include undertaking a Service Delivery Review of Council’s Corporate Relations service, increasing awareness of community engagement channels and identifying and acting on opportunities to increase cross-organisational collaboration. Other actions included implementing a digital strategy to improve customer service and exploring greater communications opportunities.
Mr May said numerous improvement actions were well advanced.
“The recent launch of the community-led Robertson Village Place Plan and adoption of recommendations from the Corporate Relations Service Delivery Review are two examples that the team have already championed,” he said.
“Another is the roll-out of a new online Customer Request Management System due to be phased in later this year and set to greatly improve the way in which customers do business with Council.”
Mr May cited the improvements of amenity across towns and villages as another key action.
“We’re currently finalising works on the public toilets in Hill Top and by mid-January we’ll have started refurbishing the toilet block on Clarence Street in Moss Vale,” he said. “In other public spaces we’ve installed new park furniture, renovated old bus shelters and planted more trees.”
“All these actions not only improve how our towns and villages look but instill a sense of pride amongst its residents.”
Further recommendations will be introduced in 2022 including councillor-specific improvement actions following the election of a new Council.
“The Community Research results told us where we had to improve,” Mr May added. “We’ve heard and listened and now we promise to lift our game via these improvement actions.”
Council’s Community Research Survey is undertaken biennially with the next survey scheduled to take place in 2023.
The full list of endorsed Improvement Actions can be viewed within the Agenda of Council’s Ordinary Meeting of 8 September 2021 at www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Council/Council-Meeting-Minutes-Agendas.
Results of the current and previous Community Research surveys can be found at www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Council/Community-Research.