Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment, but I try and attend the “Ward meetings” convened by the local council when I can. So, I headed off to one such meeting recently.
Let me say at the outset that I’m impressed by the councillors currently representing us in this ward. They seem to be across the issues and bring a balanced viewpoint to the discussions.
There were the usual issues about traffic and anti-social behaviour, and some heritage control issues. There was also (apparently justified) angst about some illegal tree felling on public holidays (deju vu the Corkman Irish Pub, it seems). The response to the latter suggested that the consequences of blatant disregard of the rules are woefully inadequate (a State government issue, I suppose, so it’s not something the Council can do much about).
The major planning scheme amendment currently in the course of being developed prompted some negative comments, which I thought were a little unfair; it seemed that the reality was that the speaker didn’t like what he saw (which still has a long way to go and eventually has to satisfy the Planning Minister). However, he translated this into a criticism of the Council’s processes. Doesn’t he make any effort at all to notice what’s going on in his area or to read what turns up in his letterbox?
Then there was the speaker who raised, in the guise of a question about “corporate governance”, a contentious proposal in another ward to develop an indoor netball stadium.
An interesting evening, but my main thought afterwards was, what motivates people to become councillors and to have to endure issues such as these on an almost daily basis?