Thursday, 10 April 2014

The ward meeting

I'm not sure that I know why I seem to be drawn to attend the Council's ward meetings.  They're painful affairs, characterised by grumpy residents expressing strong views about matters that little can be done about.  Attending seem to be an exercise in self-inflicted pain!  Who'd be a local councillor?
The venue was at Prahran Town Hall

However, I suppose it's interesting to hear about the things that are concerning people, even though the issues are familiar, and the thrust of the answers is much the same. There are a group of matters where the Council tends to say, sorry, but it's out of our control.   Planning matters feature prominently here.  The answer always given is, it's out of the Council's hands, because VCAT overrides us.   Noise issues are sometimes mentioned (here, the EPA's rules prevail over anything the Council tries to do).   And traffic lights that seem to be set wrongly are the fault of VicRoads.

Then there are complaints about roadworks, such as about planter boxes having been installed in the street (in the particular case, years ago), to which the answer is, these are what a majority of residents in the street wanted, so speak to your neighbours.   And then's there's traffic management:  please make it hard for everyone's car except mine.  At the most recent meeting, I'm sure that the essence of one comment was, yes, I want traffic humps in the street, but please put them outside my neighbour's hose, not mine.

One interesting bit of information did emerge.    One of the ward councillors in the last council was Tim Smith who aspires to move into State politics.  Now it seems that the Greens councillor (Sam Hibbins) aspires to follow in his footsteps at the next State election.   I'm not sure that I like the ward being seen as a stepping stone into politics.

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