Here's my latest supporter newsletter, with updates about our ridiculously long Council meetings, my motion and petition on reversing cuts to Inner West buses, Pride Seats, local democracy and more. Want to get these in your inbox? Sign up here.
Meetings, meetings, meetings
It's been a hectic month on Council, as we've just had three meetings in three weeks, with each lasting up to five hours. It's almost as if we need three Councils to manage the Inner West properly...
Because most residents can't get to these meetings, I've been doing short video recaps that cover our key decisions, as well as some of the shenanigans I see in Council chambers.
Changes to Inner West bus services
I put an urgent motion to our Council meeting on 1 May about the sudden changes made by Transport for NSW to Inner West buses, which cut services like the 422 - the only bus in and out of the city for many of our residents.
As a result of my motion, Council has written to the Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance, and Transport for NSW asking for any reductions in services to be reversed.
I’ve also started a petition to keep the 422 running to the city, and if you're one of the 450+ people who've already signed it - thank you! I've written to Andrew Constance and the Transport Secretary to ask them to respond, so every signature counts.
And if you haven't yet had the chance, you can sign the petition now.
Pride Seats update
I'm delighted to report that Council has just taken delivery of five fabulous Pride Seats! As you might remember, these were donated to Council by Street Furniture Australia following my successful motion in March, and were designed especially to celebrate the Inner West's support for marriage equality and LGBTQI rights.
Each seat will be dedicated to a different local activist (individual or organisation), and nominations for this will open to the public mid-June. I'll let you know when they do, so you can nominate someone you know who's fought for equality.
Local democracy: Your voice counts!
At our last Council meeting, we received our staff report on local participatory democracy. I know this sounds deeply unsexy, but stay with me, because it defines how residents like you can be involved in Council decision making.
Our staff made recommendations that were OK, but would have limited your ability to drive decisions, and offered little support for residents starting their own local groups.
So I was happy the Greens proposed alternatives that would reinstate committees, support local groups, and give these committees and groups the power to bring recommendations to Council and drive policy.
As expected, Labor and the conservative councillors voted against this. But because two of them missed the meeting, the motion passed.
However, Labor and Clr Macri will be bringing a rescission motion to next Tuesday's meeting to overturn this, and replace it with fewer committees and less support for local groups. Critically, they also want to remove the right for committees and groups to make recommendations to Council.
I think it would be pretty terrible if your ability to take part in and drive Council decisions was stripped back like this. If you agree, please contact your councillors to let them know. Contact details are on the Council website.
If you'd like to speak against the motion at the meeting, register on the Council website by 2pm Tuesday quoting Item 16.
Next Council meeting: Tuesday 22 May
This will be another marathon, with 1,000+ page agenda. Topics include Council's report back on my motion about WestConnex air quality and noise issues, Newtown's nighttime economy, the Greenway Master Plan, and muuuuuch more. See the full agenda.
The meeting start at 6:30pm at Ashfield Council Chambers, L6, 260 Liverpool Rd Ashfield. As above, if you want to speak to any items, you'll need to register by 2pm Tuesday.
Get in touch
If you need my help on Council matters, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0434 690 544.
Thanks again for your support,
Independent Councillor, Stanmore ward, Inner West Council