Wollondilly Council adopted its Budget for 2021/22 at last night’s Council meeting and is now finalising the details of its Operational Plan with a focus on the key areas of roads, jobs, customer experience and organisational performance.
Mayor Robert Khan said, “This Operational Plan reflects a major period of investment in our growing Shire.”
“Council has a focus on continual improvement and is concentrating on ways of enhancing service delivery and organisational performance, to make Wollondilly an even better place for our community.”
The 2021/22 Budget and Operational Plan provides information on Council’s services, projects, programs and budget for the next financial year; outlining how Council will continue to deliver them in the year ahead and achieve the commitments made in the adopted Delivery Program 2017/18 – 2020/21 (now in an extended fifth year).
Roads will continue to be a major focus for Council in 2021/22, with $16.06M allocated to road renewal and upgrades and another $4.89M to road maintenance in the year ahead.
For the first time, this year Council invited the community to nominate the segments of road they believed should be considered in its updated road works program.
75 people provided feedback, with the top 10 roads nominated being: Remembrance Driveway, Silverdale Road, Montpelier Drive, Spring Creek Road, Burragorang Road, Thirlmere Way, Nectarbrook Drive, Arina Road, Mowbray Park Road and Station Street Couridjah. These priorities aligned strongly with the engineering assessment, confirming the program is on the right track.
Council has identified a clear need for the NSW Government to take responsibility for some major Wollondilly roads, given their traffic volumes. Council is strongly advocating that major roads including Menangle Road, Wilton Road, Macarthur Drive, Remembrance Driveway, Finns Road and Silverdale Road become State roads, giving Council more resources to invest in its local roads.
Local job creation is a big focus for the new Operational Plan. Council is directly investing $33.7M in capital works to improve the Shire, stimulating local jobs through project delivery.
Council looks forward to seeing the construction of the next stage of the Tahmoor Sporting Complex, the upgrade of the old Menangle School site, and the development of the Wollondilly Cultural Precinct including the new Performing Arts Centre.
A newly appointed Business Investment Concierge and Executive Planner will unlock greater business investment opportunities for the Shire and directly support local business growth and job creation.
New technology and systems will make it easier for customers to do business with Council, including a specialist Business Investment Planning Service and more support for small business.
Improving customer experience continues to be a focus for the organisation. In 2020 Council took a big leap forward in online customer service, including the introduction of the new Customer Service Portal.
In 2021/22 Council will appoint a dedicated full-time Duty Planner to provide planning advice and support residents and small businesses to progress their developments. An online booking system has just been launched, giving customers the opportunity to make an appointment to discuss their DAs with a Duty Planner, at a time that suits them.
Organisational Performance is another central focus for Council. A business enhancement plan is being developed to help the organisation effectively and efficiently grow with the Shire, for the benefit of the current and future Wollondilly.
A recent independently run employee survey showed that Wollondilly Council staff engagement was at the top 10% of benchmark Councils, indicating that staff are very keen to contribute to the future of Wollondilly.
Major engagement questions showed that staff will go above and beyond in their service for the community, are proud to work at Wollondilly Council and believe that Council cares about and is committed to them.
‘I happily go the extra mile to help Wollondilly Shire Council succeed’ was the highest rating response at 84%, demonstrating the strong service culture and commitment to the Shire amongst Council staff.
The results demonstrate the workforce is highly engaged, providing the strong cultural foundations that will enable Council to continue building a high performing organisation that will deliver quality services for the community in the year ahead and into the future.