Over the past few months there have been several topics that the community wanted to have a say on, including our Flood Risk Management Plan, Environmental Plans and Development Applications. This is a good thing.
As mentioned in my column recently, a vital part of building a strong community is for Council to receive local input on things that affect our valley. We need to hear from people that support something, as well as people that don't, along with feedback and suggestions.
The best way to make sure your views are included in the review process is to email your submissions to Council’s General Manager at: email@example.com or by mail to PO Box 3078, West Kempsey.
This is so that all submissions lodged directly with Council are reviewed and a summary is included in the Council meeting business papers. The same applies for submissions relating to Development Applications that are assessed by the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel.
It is understandable that people want to make sure that elected representatives know what they think, however, if submissions are not sent directly to Council they can be easily overlooked. This can result in your submission not being included in the business paper where they need to be read and considered, along with all other submissions received by Council. When Councillors are reading their business papers prior to a Council meeting, this is what they focus on, not their emails.
It is important that all Councillors have access to the same information as it is the entire Council that votes on matters brought before Council, not individuals or groups. All submissions have to be given equal consideration, so emails sent directly to individual Councillors are not given a higher value than other submissions.
Email is a great communication tool and it is how we use emails that determines whether it improves how we communicate. If you want your view to have the most impact, send it to Council’s corporate email at: firstname.lastname@example.org