Cr Di Bell: Budget learning curve

This week our budget was brought to Council, and for myself personally this has been a high learning curve.

I feel I was naive, as I thought as Councillors, we would have more involvement in the process for the budget.

There have been some new additions such as a focus on improving and adding to our public conveniences and a higher focus on rural roads.

This budget is based on the Council Plan developed by the previous Council and projects which the previous Council prioritised.

Hence, I will look forward to 2022-2023, as the new Council Plan will be adopted later this year following the Community Deliberative Panel’s work summarising the submissions from the Community Vision.

Earlier this week and last week there was a Why We Live Here Expo to listen to community ideas on health and wellbeing, bike paths and walking tracks, Horsham Skatepark, updates to Local Laws, Sawyer Park and City Oval redevelopment, arts and culture, street trees and shade and pop up parks and parklets.

The expo was conducted during the commencement of the school holidays, so I encourage community members who are away for the holidays, to look at these topics and projects online and be sure to have your say.

I particularly ask our younger generations to become involved and have their say as we need input from all ages and areas of our community.

In line with our values of openness and honesty, I wish to alert the community to one proposed new local law which will prevent parking on nature strips.

Following my observations around our city since becoming aware of this change, I have concerns this may affect many households those with more cars, rentals and families with children over 18 living at home, or those who live on narrow streets.

So be sure to take the time to read through the proposed Local Laws to provide your feedback on these or any other changes.

Finally, and most importantly, I wish to ask all our community members to check in with neighbors, workmates, family and friends, and local businesses to all support each other.

The last lockdown has had a major impact on many in our community, so let’s do what we do best, band together and support each other to get back on track.

To all those trying to hold events to help our community, thank you for your efforts, no doubt the continual changes are very challenging and require resilience and commitment.

Let’s all work together.

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