Cr David Bowe: Community on agenda

Here we are in lockdown again and I sincerely hope that everybody is coping okay. I especially feel for our hospitality and tourism businesses who will no doubt be hurting financially.

I encourage all Horsham and district people to keep supporting our cafes, restaurants and pubs whenever you get the chance.

Once again, the one good thing about the Covid pandemic is that it has reminded us that we are fortunate to live here in the Wimmera with such a good urban/rural balance.

It’s a shame that our return to pre-pandemic normality has been halted. I was really enjoying having community sport back on the weekends, as well as all of our local services clubs operating at full strength.

I have also enjoyed seeing the public allowed to attend the April and May Council meetings.

Before becoming a Councillor I was one of the regular attendees in the chamber. I went to my first meeting back in 2005 after a discussion with a fellow Rostrum member George Powell, who also attended council meetings on a regular basis.

Now that I am a Councillor, I’m enjoying getting up to debate the various agenda items and advocating for the whole community on issues that arise.

At the moment we have a good number of people who follow what’s happening at Council.

To have people from the community interested in Council and an understanding of how it all works is a good thing.

Meetings are now more accessible, with the option of attending in person (subject to pandemic restrictions) or following the livestream from home.

At our Council, meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month (apart from December) and the agenda is made available here at 5pm on the Thursday before.

If you wish to raise a question during public question time, you are welcome to complete the public question time form and lodge it with Council by 5pm on the Friday prior to the Council meeting.

Each person can ask a maximum of two questions and they usually get an answer at the meeting as well as a written response.

At various times there have been a citizenship ceremony before a meeting. Which is fantastic to welcome those who decide to be official citizens.

Another reason to attend meetings is that the media doesn’t always report on everything that is discussed by every Councillor in the chamber.

So if you are interested in learning more about how Council meetings work, I’d encourage you to come along or watch online from the comfort of your own home.

Over the past few months I have been getting out and about to engage with the community as it important for all of us to be working together and moving the community forward in a positive and sustainable direction.

It’s great to see so many people with lots of good ideas for the future of our regional city.

Let’s hope we can resume our Covid recovery sooner rather than later.

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