THE Bega Valley Shire Council will soon be taking to the streets in a move to open communication lines with ratepayers and residents.
The council will hold community workshops in various towns and villages across the shire as part of its commitment to improving the way it communicates with the community.
Mayor Bill Taylor said the workshops would be held over the next three months.
Councillors and senior staff will visit Bermagui, Bega, Merimbula and Eden.
Cr Taylor said residents would be invited to raise issues of interest or concern.
“This will give us more face-to-face opportunities to discuss council strategies and decisions and for the public to take a more active role in local government,” he said.
The first community workshop will be held in the Bermagui Community Centre on Wenesday at 4pm.
Anyone wishing to address councillors or senior staff should book a time with council on 6499 2222.
“Addresses will be followed by question and answer sessions,” Cr Taylor said.
“We are serious about improving our engagement with the community and this is one of a raft of initiatives we are taking in this regard.”
Cr Taylor said the initiatives follow on suggestions made by University of Wollongong students in a Univate research project.
The initiatives include suggestion boxes, community barbecues and a presence at community events in addition to the workshops.
Cr Taylor said the BVSC was developing an improved council calendar that prominently displays all council businesses of public interest.
He said the council had implemented the Snap, Send Solve app to allow for items of concern to be reported to council through residents’ smart phones.
The BVSC will also adopt an online version of the “voting cards” model recently suggested during a council meeting, Cr Taylor said.
Suggestion boxes have been placed in all libraries and the Bega office.
Following the meeting at Bermagui, sessions will be held at Club Sapphire Merimbula on October 23 and the Eden Fishermen’s Club on November 13.
For more information, visit www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au and follow the links.