Caitlan Charles

Council response times to submissions under scrutiny

THE PROPOSAL for the licencing of Clarence Valley Council land for stock agistment was met with strong opposition from community members.

The land, which is a park located on Trenayr Road, Junction Hill, was proposed as part of a plan to assist council with the management of the land at the Corporate, Governance and Works Committee Meeting.

With public consultation beginning on December 22, 2016, David Andrews, who gave a deputation opposing the agistment, said the timing of the consultation made it difficult for community members to share their thoughts on the proposal.

Mr Andrews indicated he had made many attempts to contact council regarding the proposal but had not received a reply on a number of occasions.

Councillor Arthur Lysaught said it should be taken on notice that Mr Andrews had received no response.

Acting General Manager Ashley Lindsay said it has come to his attention that staff had not been consistent with the way they dealt with submissions.

"We didn't get back to people within 10 days is not within council policy,” he said.

"I've already put in place a meeting with staff to come up with an effective procedure to ensure we are (doing this right).

"It is my intention to make sure we do it well in the future and everyone follows procedure and it is constant right across the board... it's pretty embarrassing how this was dealt with.”

Committee chair Jason Kingsley amended the proposal to say that council not endorse the received proposal and staff discuss with local residents the essential mowing of the park and explore options to reduce general maintenance of the block.

Cr Toms proposed they defer the proposal as the part may have a Plan of Management and more research into the land was needed.

Mayor Jim Simmons, Cr Lysaught and Cr Kingsley voted in favour of bringing Cr Kingsley's changes to the council meeting next week.



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