Cr Di Bell: Rethinking to be done

Has experiencing a pandemic changed our needs?

What are your thoughts?

The last two years have seen continuous disruption, restrictions on our daily lives, on businesses, workplaces, health, how we welcome new arrivals, or say final goodbyes to family and friends, and how we gather and connect as families, friends, groups and workmates.

It’s great to see things are moving to provide much more mental health support in our city and region- it’s long overdue.

But how are we doing locally as a Council, do you think planning and works have adjusted to changed needs due to the pandemic? Do you believe we need to rethink concept plans and strategies that were developed before the pandemic? Are improvements and maintenance fair and equitable to all across the municipality?

My personal opinion, we need some major rethinking to be done.

Last week I attended a meeting for residents in northern Horsham. The HRCC have your say flyer invited residents to “Have your say”, and said, “we want to hear from you in terms of what our focus should be – we believe that we have identified some of the key opportunities in improving streetscapes and pedestrian connections within the area but we know that the residents of Horsham North will have the greatest insights through their experience of living in the area!”

Some were very focussed on future improvements and developments, and others very frustrated that issues concerning them in everyday lives, are not fixed. Yes, we do get frustrated and angry if we continually ask and nothing gets fixed.

Some of the North residents comments and questions:

“Why can’t money spent on footpaths etc in Horsham North, be the same as elsewhere in Horsham?” “Horsham doesn’t really cater for those who are disabled.” Serious concerns re vehicle speeds in Albert St – yet not fixed. “Railway line area needs fixing up” “Been waiting for years for the pedestrian underpasses to be fixed.” “Why should there be another pedestrian bridge built along the river when nothing’s being done in Horsham North.”

All very good questions, some I’ve raised previously. So, what now?

Let all your elected Councillors know, do we need to rethink some of the plans completed in the past, and change our priorities to suit living through and with a pandemic? Have some of our needs changed?

You, the community, need to tell us, otherwise we cannot represent you to make the changes our community needs. After all, your Councillors and the HRCC staff are here to serve you, that’s what Local Government is.

Take care, and have a wonderful day.

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