WEDNESDAY night’s Friends of Littleton Gardens public gathering has been followed up by a positive meeting with Bega Valley Shire council representatives.
Zoe Hope Zanelli and Katrina Walsh presented their practical ideas for better community feedback and these were warmly received by the shire representatives.
The ideas included ballot boxes for the collection of feedback and ideas, information stalls outside local shops and supermarkets across the shire, and a proposal to film council meetings for live streaming or posting on internet sites such as YouTube.
Also present was Friends of Littleton Gardens community group convener Jo Dodds, who delivered to the council a nine-point action plan outlining the decisions made by the community group at Wednesday night's meeting.
The Wednesday night meeting was well-attended by around 55 people from as far away as Bald Hills and Eden (click here for related coverage).
There were people of all ages, from several community groups and two people representing the local Djiringanj people.
Those present resolved that a nine-point plan be delivered to council requesting a response.
“At the meeting, Cr Taylor and others were very welcoming,” Ms Dodds said.
“There was robust discussion about various initiatives that council is undertaking to improve consultation and feedback.
“The nine-point plan was also discussed and council members were clearly very open to addressing the concerns raised.”
Ms Dodds said the group again expressed their sadness and anger at how the Littleton Gardens eucalypts were removed.
The group asked that in recognition of many people's dissatisfaction with the process behind the removal of the trees and as a symbol of goodwill and better communication, the remaining tree be retained.
“Council members were very open to this request and agreed that the tree will not be removed unless there are serious, professional concerns about its immediate safety,” Ms Dodds reported.
The group will meet again after the council has had some time to respond to the points raised.
“Council has shown themselves very willing to engage with us, to hear our concerns and address them,” Ms Dodds said.
“I'm confident we can make some really positive changes in how the 33,000 residents of this shire get involved in decisions about how we grow and support our communities and resources.
“But it is a two-way street.
“The message I am taking home is that it's not enough to complain to friends and family - I need to keep myself informed and give council feedback on all the issues that are important to me.
“If I don't let them know what I want, how can I complain when I don't get it?
“I urge everyone to contact their councillors and have a chat about their concerns,” she said.