On May 19th 2015 Claire Pettigrew, Rhona Carson and Jeanie McCafferty met with Mayor Celia Wade Brown with Jenny Rains from WCC and local ward councillors Paul Eagle and David Lee in attendance. We wanted to introduce our new President Claire to the Mayor and to raise a number of issues of concern to Newtown residents.
These included our desire to see improved communication with council over future consultations, work plans and other issues that may affect us in Newtown so we can better plan the Association’s work load, improve consultation in the community and ensure our volunteers are not overwhelmed with work at the last minute. We discussed being involved in the regular ward meeting with Councillors and the Mayor and also extended an invitation to the Mayor to attend a Residents Association meeting or otherwise engage with the NRA Executive to enhance communication.
We raised our ongoing concern at the poor outcomes from the contracting out of street cleaning and that there continues to be problems with rubbish collecting, weed clearing and the effectiveness of storm water drains.
We pointed out that Newtown has not had a “spruce up” in a long time. The traffic lights and light poles needed some paint and the pavements need a water blast to clean off generations of gunk and spray painted marks. We heard that there is a regular schedule of Asset Management programmes, and we are awaiting information on the Asset Management plan for Newtown. The Mayor volunteered that she would be happy to see this attended to, and in particular it would be good to have Newtown looking its best before the next Newtown Festival.
Lastly we discussed a follow up to the John St Protocols. Contractors working in Newtown recently were keen to follow the protocols after they were brought to their attention. We heard from Mayor Celia that the Protocols were tabled at a Council meeting and were ‘folded into’ the Significance and Engagement Policy Paper November 2014 (available from the Council website). It was agreed in our meeting that the council will investigate how more detailed aspects of the John St Protocols can be added to this document and included at the the procurement stage of contracts.