The consultation into how the council will deliver services to the community in years to come continued with several recent brainstorming sessions.
Following on from last year’s Understanding Our Place consultation and IRIS surveys into community satisfaction with council services, around 90 locals took part in several focus groups on Friday and Saturday to discuss the collated results.
At the forefront of discussions were the council’s draft delivery program for the next four years and the community’s priorities for potentially the next 20.
Topics included health and culture, employment and education, sustainable living, transport and connected communities, and consultative leadership.
Essentially the focus group sessions were to review the draft summaries of feedback collated from last year’s first stage of consultation, identifying priorities and possible gaps.
One of the key messages from around the tables seemed to be to change the delivery plan’s language from “this is what we’d like to see”, to “this is what we’re going to do”.
The guidance collected over Friday and Saturday will be used to refine the next stage of the process, with the updated draft plan to go on public exhibition in May.
BVSC general manager Leanne Barnes thanked everyone for taking the time to be part of the voluntary focus groups and explained how the community was central to developing the Community Strategic Plan.
“Two and half thousand local people have already had input into the draft plan, this latest round of consultation adds depth and allows council to ‘check in’ with the community to make sure we have heard them correctly,” Ms Barnes said.
“If we are going to have a plan that is meaningful then local people need to drive the process.
“The level of commitment and interest from participants has been inspiring, thank you to everyone who has taken part.”
The Understanding Our Place report can be viewed on council’s website.