The final meeting for 2018 will be held tonight. The agenda is pretty full, but mainly tidying up some ongoing matters.
One thing that caught my attention was the changing of arrangements for funding crossing supervisors and the recommendation that three crossing supervisors no longer be funded – two of them in Flemington, the third in Waverley St, near Alma St, Moonee Ponds.
The issue is around the criteria for state funding – and what criteria Council will use for funding supervisors not funded by the state (because they don’t meet the threshold).
Some supervisors will be part-funded by Council, and some fully funded. With seven new crossing supervisors proposed – and three potentially being defunded.
I hope the schools whose students make use of the crossings have been notified before rather than after making this decision!
I also note that the crossing supervisor in Cashmere St, Travancore, welcomed my children each day for six years and stopped children from running in front of cars exiting the laneway. Cars in the Flemington Primary school laneway are only visible by either looking in a mirror, or sticking your head around a large brick wall.
Apologies: Crs Nation, Marshall and Sipek are on approved leave of absence. No apologies. Crs Cusack, Surace, Sharpe, Byrne, Gauci-Maurici, Lawrence are present.
Minutes: Cr Cusack and Cr Byrne move and second minutes. Carried unanimously.
Conflict of Interest: Cr Byrne declares a direct conflict in item 10.4.
Petitions, Joint Letters, Public Questions, Committee Meeting Reports: None
3 Ross Street, Niddrie – Construction of eight dwellings in a Design and Development Overlay
Six triple storey dwellings. Lots of objectors. Overshadowing an issue.
Cr Byrne moves, and Cr Surace seconds, a motion for refusal on the following grounds:
- cl 15.15 Neighbourhood character
- cl 21.06-1 Bulk, scale, and response to location
- cl 55 Neighbourhood character, landscaping and noise impacts
- visually dominant and negative impacts on the land
Cr Byrne says the planning application is not within the character of the area, and the design “looks like a barn”. “In an area that is obviously going to undergo change, this is too much for Ross St to handle at the moment.”
Cr Surace says she concurs. “There will be huge impacts on the community.” Some of the conditions rely on the agreement of a neighbour. Cr Surace also mentions the overshadowing.
No one else speaks. Carried unanimously.
Proposed Lease – Essendon Gem and Lapidary Club
Proposal to make space for the club at in a new addition to the Men’s Shed in Strathmore.
Cr Lawrence moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Gauci Maurici seconds. The Mayor asks whether there are any questions related to the item.
Cr Lawrence says he is pleased to see the matter coming to Council for resolution. Cr GM explains the option for a five year lease is because Council is currently reviewing the leasing process.
Moonee Ponds Chain of Ponds
Recommendation to adopt the plan – which I haven’t had time to look over in its final form. I had made some suggestions to the draft version including making sure bike routes were marked on the plan. It’s an ambitious 50-year plan for restoring the Creek – and pretty exciting if you like natural waterways!
Apparently, new buildings in Travancore along the creek have to divert stormwater up the hill rather than down to the creek – which doesn’t make a lot of sense. Not sure what the plan says about that.
I haven’t had time to look at the rest of the agenda in detail … but you can find it here:
Cr Cusack moves. Cr Lawrence seconds. The Mayor asks whether there are any questions.
Cr Cusack says the plan is a major piece of work. He talks about how the plan includes storm water harvesting and “future proofing”. He says there are many thoughtful design elements to recreate the ponds. Cr Lawrence says it represents long term planning for the creek. Carried unanimously.
Steele Creek Drive Reserve Carpark
Cr Byrne leaves due to conflict of interest.
Cr Surace moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Lawrence seconds. The Mayor asks whether there are any questions. Cr Surace says she is pleased the car park is finally being completed after protracted negotiations. Cr Lawrence says the agreement with an owners corporation and Council has finally gone through. Carried unanimously.
Advocacy on Aged Care Services
Cr Byrne returns. Cr Cusack moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Byrne seconds. No questions from Crs.
Cr Cusack says Councils are struggling “about where we go to with provision of aged care services”… “it’s not something that councils of their own can resolve”. “Council has a very important role,” he says, “particularly around mobility and accessibility”. The City of Darebin has created a taskforce to deal with competitive neutrality, rather than always being seen as “something that will take away from the pool”.
Cr Byrne says MVCC has taken a lead in staying in aged care, but that funding is decreasing and the taskforce will assist MVCC to advocate for sufficient funding. She looks forward to more reports next year.
Response to Notice Of Motion No. 2018/18 – Occasional care in Moonee Valley
Cr GM moves an alternative motion for MVCC to approve business model number 3 to alter operating hours to close at 2:30pm Monday and Friday and 4:30pm on other days (I think) and opening at 8:30am, with implementation to occur in 2019 to allow for transition. An online booking system is being explored. Further work is being done to provide additional occasional care. A report is requested in the future. Cr Surace seconds.
Cr Byrne asks what the overall decrease in hours will be for families. The decrease in hours will be Monday and Friday. The reduction is 90 mins for two days and 30 mins for three days.
Cr GM says the review has been occurring for a number of years. She says MVCC has no intention of stepping away from occasional care, but that utilisation has declined as is currently operating at about 50 percent. Family feedback has been sought. There are very few occasional care facilities – often only available for people using gyms.
Cr GM says the data shows a preference for use before 9am and that few users rely on late afternoon care on Mondays and Fridays. She says booking online will be much easier for parents. Bookings in blocks will be introduced, and parents will be available a week in advance. Some staffing changes will be made.
Cr GM says she has used the service and that council values the service and hope the decision of Council will give staff and families certainty about the future of the service.
Cr Surace supports Cr GM’s comments. Cr Cusack says reducing the hours too much will not help the service in the long term.
Cr Byrne moves an amendment to increase the Friday afternoon hours. The Mayor asks her to write it for the officer to transfer to the screen. Cr Cusack seconds.
Cr Byrne says she is wary of making too many changes at once, and wants to make sure the Friday afternoon is available for parents to make the most of Puckle St on a Friday afternoon. She suggests that in 12 months time after a further report, other changes could be made.
Cr Cusack supports not making ground-shaking change but allowing for other things to come into place over the next 12 months. He doesn’t want to see a reduction in care options in MVCC.
Cr GM says the rationale for the original motion was that the sign-outs were high on Friday afternoon, but they were also high on Weds, so she is happy to support the amendment.
For: Cr GM, Cr Cuasack, Cr Byrne
Against: Cr Surace, Lawrence, Cr Sharpe – and casting vote of Mayor
So the amendment is lost and the occasional childcare will close at 2:30pm on Mondays and Fridays.
Cr Byrne says she will support the motion, despite the reduction in hours on Fridays, but she says it is still a significant improvement on the officer’s recommendation (which was care being open 9am-2pm five days a week).
Response to NoM 2017/17 – Tennis Strategy
Cr Lawrence moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Byrne seconds. No questions.
Cr Lawrence says the strategy includes encouraging use by non-members to bring in extra revenue, make use of the facilities, and encourage social use of the courts.
Cr Byrne says there has been a lot of work on the strategy to ensure that people who want to use courts can access them easily. The draft strategy has been out for consultation. She says the responses from the clubs were varied and interesting. The implementation won’t be until July 2019.
Moonee Ponds Activity Centre Special Rate and Charge renewal
Cr Lawrence moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Cusack seconds. No questions.
Cr Lawrence questions why Moonee Ponds Activity Centre hasn’t quite taken off, but that traders have found initiatives like the ice-skating to be helpful.
Cr Cusack says there is often push-back from traders, but he says traders who think in that space are not the ones adding to the life of the activity centre. He also says car parking is causing complaints. He says the progressive dinners have gone well, and that further activities like markets in the streets might help. He points out the new shops will be contributors to the pool of money that can be spent on the area.
Update on Notice of Motion No. 2017/25 – Reinstatement of roads
Cr Surace moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr GM seconds. No questions.
Cr Surace says the report provides an update on the infrastructure program and the meetings that have taken place to try to get more efficient reinstatement of roads after works have been completed.
323-327 Napier Street, Strathmore – Proposed Land Transfer
Cr Lawrence moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr GM seconds. No questions. Carried unanimously.
Update on VicRoads Children’s Crossing Supervisor Subsidy Program
Cr Cusack moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Lawrence seconds. Cr Byrne asks if people are not happy about a crossing being defunded, what action they can take. The officer says only three crossing will be defunded, but that if consultation indicates problems, this will come back to Council.
Cr Cusack says the report reflects changes in the community. He says previous decisions of councillors have been a calculated guess, but now there is a clear criteria and that demand has shifted, and council needs to make changes. He says negotiation with VicRoads will continue, but that there are a couple of crossings that will be discontinued on the basis of data provided – including the crossing in Pin Oak Crescent and the crossing in Cashmere St.
Cr Cusack says the crossing in Travancore has signs, and that there are signs to stop cars in the lane (Cr Cusack doesn’t seem to be aware that cars come down the laneway and drop off children every morning and exit across the crossing).
Cr Lawrence says he is not an expert of children’s crossing supervisors, but he takes the data provided and is happy to adopt the recommendation.
Cr Byrne says she agrees with the officer’s recommendation, but that she respects that a report will come back to council following consultation if something has slipped through the gaps. She says it is great to see the additional crossing.
Cr GM asks how residents would find a list of the crossings that are not included in the list. The officer says the website will be updated.
Cr Surace asks whether the seven crossings are being installed or are being opened up for discussion. Cr Surace asks when installation would take place. The officer says in the next six months. Cr Surace says parents have been acting as crossing supervisors outside St Peters and they have been waiting 20 years for supervision.
I don’t have the heart to continue.
Councillor appointments to Portfolios, Committees and External Bodies
Establishment of a Place Naming and Civic Recognition Special Committee
Assemblies of Councillors