First year of the People's Panel

05 Feb 2016

It's been a year since the People's Panel first launched and a big THANK YOU to the 97 individuals and groups representatives that helped to make it a success.

A few changes are being made to expand the Panel in 2016, but first we want to update you on how your contribution to topics are being considered.

Playground Strategy

The discussion and survey on this topic was robust with a range of ideas put forward. These were all considered by Council’s Parks and Recreation Team and Councillors when drafting the Playground Strategy 2016-2036. The draft strategy has just been through the formal public exhibition process and will be considered for adoption by Council at the February 2016 Council Meeting.

Unapproved serviced apartments

The results of the People’s Panel discussion on unapproved serviced apartments are being considered by Council’s internal LEP/DCP Working group, as they continue to investigate various factors. A way forward is expected to be determined early in 2016.

Council’s website

The People’s Panel gave detailed feedback on how Council can improve our website, and provide better service to the community online. The results also identified areas that users are currently having difficulty with such as the search function. The search function has since been modified by there are still more improvements to be made. Thanks to the People’s Panel, Council has been able to set priorities more in line with what the community wants, with the most-requested features slated to be developed first.

Changing the way we dispose of food waste

There was strong support from the People’s Panel for the introduction of a food organics collection service to be included as a part of the new kerbside waste collection service. Additionally, members gave Council great insight into current composting practices at home and made great suggestions to compliment the new system. Council’s Waste Team is currently considering options that could include the provision for a food organics collection service in the new contract, with a decision to be made late 2016. Updates will be posted on the Tipping Point website.

Let’s talk! How we communicate with our community

The discussion on Council’s social media presence indicated strong support for Council to host a Facebook page. This feedback was considered when Council made the decision to launch the City of Wagga Wagga Facebook page in January 2016. The page is an additional way for the community to have a conversation with Council, as well as providing information about events and services. You can like the page by searching ‘City of Wagga Wagga’ on Facebook.

Long term planning

Around 25 members attended one of two focus groups held to discuss Council’s long term planning processes. From the Focus groups Council discovered that current satisfaction levels with Council's long term planning was directly related to how involved our community feel in the planning process and how well Council is communicating these key initiatives. Recommendations from the focus groups have already informed initiatives such as the expansion of the People's Panel and the introduction of Facebook, however ultimately the feedback will be used to review Council's Community Engagement strategy in 2017. In the mean team we will concentrate on improving our practice.

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