ONE of the first legislative requirements a new council has to fulfill is the creation of their Community Strategic Plan.
The Community Strategic Plan is the highest level plan that council will prepare and its purpose is to identify the community’s main priorities.
It’s a shared vision of what the Upper Hunter Shire Community values and aspires to for the next 10 years, and will provide a framework for council’s activities and programs over the next four years.
As such the community’s involvement and participation in this process is critical to framing the conversation and identifying the issues, projects and themes they want addressed.
Previously, people’s views were canvassed via third party community researchers and sporadically attended public meetings.
So, it is heartening to see that the new approach of ‘pop up’ community consultation - councillors and council staff talking to people face to face at local events - is being well-received and proving popular.
So far four ‘pop ups’ have been held in Murrurundi, Scone, Merriwa and Cassilis and about 400 residents have shared their views and put forward their ideas, which is really encouraging.
There are a couple more ‘pop ups’ being held before Christmas.
The community will be provided with many ways to get involved, including online and face-to-face options and we want to speak with as many people as possible of all ages, background and interests.
You can talk to us (as well as meeting Santa, watching the free Christmas movie, browsing the market and food stalls and much much more) at the Scone Neighbourhood Resource Centre’s Christmas in the Park family event this Saturday from 5pm at Elizabeth Park, and also at the Royal Hotel in Merriwa on Friday, December 16, from 5pm.
Further events are planned for next year too.
And, in the meantime, you can also have your say on our future online at council’s website http://upperhunter.nsw.gov.au/do-it- online/say-it/community- strategic-plan- 2027-submissions.aspx .
Wherever you are and whoever you are with, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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