Lake Residents Have Their Say on Council Services
More than 250 Lake Macquarie residents attended a series of Council run workshops this week where they let Council know what services were important to them, what they could not do without and in some cases, what services they thought were not necessarily Council's responsibility to provide.
More than 250 Lake Macquarie residents attended a series of Council run workshops this week where they let Council know what services were important to them, what they could not do without and in some cases, what services they thought were not necessarily Council’s responsibility to provide.
Residents from across the city consistently confirmed that they valued council services like roads, libraries and the creation of employment opportunities, and Mayor Greg Piper said that workshop participants mostly indicated they are willing to pay for a continuation of current services.
“When asked to prioritise a list of Council services and think about what they could do without, a lot of workshop participants found this difficult because they placed high importance on so much of what they get from Council,” Cr Piper said.
While it certainly wasn’t a unanimous opinion, a lot of participants made it clear that they didn’t want a reduction in services, or a sale of Council assets to help save money.
“Council shared a lot of information about its current financial position, and how rate pegging is affecting our ability to keep up with rising costs and demands,” Cr Piper said.
“Lake Macquarie consistently out-performs other similar councils when it comes to our rate base, our operating expenditure, and operational income per capita. We have also found $4 million in efficiencies, and the potential for further efficiencies and revenue generation to help reduce the rate burden, but we know this still won’t be enough to remain financially sustainable.”
The community forums are just one part of an engagement strategy that will continue until early December. Council will also be giving a briefing to the Lake Macquarie Combined Chambers of Commerce and the Youth Advisory Council next month. The My Lake Macquarie – Securing our Future online forum www.haveyoursaylakemac.com.au is also running in conjunction.
“We have a big job ahead of us to reconcile all of the feedback we are getting from the community so we can continue to find the right balance between providing what our residents want and what they are willing to pay for,” Cr Piper concluded.
Consultation has concluded