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Council meeting summary - February 1, 2021

News Article Date: 
Thursday, 4 February 2021

For more information and appendices for each item, view the Council Meeting Agenda and the Council Meeting Attachments.

The below summary is unconfirmed until the Minutes of the February 1 Meeting are accepted by Council.

1. Opening Prayer & Original Custodians Statement

2. Apologies

None.

3. Confirmation of Minutes

Council confirmed the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on 7 December 2020. (7-0)

4. Declaration by Councillors and Officers of any Conflict of Interest in any Item on the Agenda

None.

5.1 Councillor Code of Conduct

Under the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act), section 139 states that a Council must adopt a Councillor Code of Conduct within 4 months of the general election.

Drawing from the current Councillor Code of Conduct, the draft Councillor Code of Conduct sets out roles and responsibilities and provides specific arrangements to deal with disputes and misconduct. The draft Councillor Code of Conduct also incorporates the legislative requirements under Local Government Act 2020, including the prescribed standards of conduct as detailed in the Local Government (Governance and Integrity) Regulations 2020.

The draft Councillor Code of Conduct, as attached to this report, is presented to Council for their consideration and adoption - refer Attachment 1.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council adopt the Councillor Code of Conduct as presented as Attachment 1 of this report.

5.2 Draft Governance Rules – Community Consultation

To facilitate amendments to the Governance Rules proposed by Council, the draft Governance Rules are first presented to Council for their endorsement to proceed to community consultation through a public exhibition and submissions process.

In accordance with section 60(4) of the Local Government Act 2020, a process of community consultation must be undertaken when developing or amending the Governance Rules. It is proposed that the process of community engagement undertaken comply with section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989. This process is recommended in lieu of the Community Engagement Policy which has not yet been adopted by Council.

Community consultation through the public exhibition and submissions process will allow the community an opportunity to provide feedback or comment on the proposed changes to the Governance Rules. Any community feedback received on the draft Governance Rules will be presented to Councillors for their consideration prior to the Governance Rules being put to Council for final consideration.

The proposed changes to the Governance Rules include:

- Bringing ‘Public Question Time’ up the order of business closer to the beginning of the meeting.

- Making allowances for accepting petitions in an electronic form and bringing ‘Petitions and Joint Letters’ up the order of business closer to the beginning of the meeting.

- Including a requirement for all Council Meetings to be livestreamed, where this is possible.

- Including ‘General Business’ as a standing item in the order of business of Council Meetings.

- An amendment to provide for no limit to the number of requests for extension to speaking time by a Councillor.

-  Including an option for hearing submissions in accordance with section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989.

This report seeks the approval of Council to place the drafted Governance Rules on public exhibition for the purpose of allowing the community to make submissions on the proposed changes.

Cr Blain moved and Cr Ziegeler seconded that the Item be deferred until the March Council Meeting.

Council supported the motion (7-0).

5.3 December Finance Report

This Finance Report compares actual financial results budget for the 6 months from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.

The report sets out financial results for Councils recurrent (day to day operations) Projects, Capital Works, Rates and Loan activities.

Year to date budgets are profiled to reflect the timing of cash inflows and outflows. Overall, the 6-month actual results indicate a favourable financial position of $2.162 million when compared to the year-to-date forecast.

The financial position of Council has been reviewed and it has been determined that a Revised Budget under s95 of the Local Government Act 2020 is not required.

Council will prepare an updated forecast that will better align with the current COVID19 environment and the impacts that this is having on its operations.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the December 2020 finance report be received.

5.4 Community Engagement Policy 2021

Under the Local Government Act 2020 all Victorian councils are required to have a Community Engagement Policy.

Council’s existing Community Engagement Policy has been reviewed to include the requirements of the new Act.

Councils are required to adopt a new Community Engagement Policy before March 1, 2021.

The Policy describes when and how the Council will engage with the community on key processes including the development of the Council Plan, Community Vision (plan), annual Budget, Financial Plan and Asset Plan.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council adopts the Draft Community Engagement Policy.

5.5 Open Space Asset Management Plan Post Community Consultation

The plan outlines what it costs to deliver the current level of service for our open space assets, if this is being met and what the risks are of not meeting these requirements.

The draft plan was put out for community consultation via Your Say Warrnambool from 20 July to 20 August - There were seven (7) responses.

General sentiment is that we are slightly underfunding.

There were no significant changes to the plan.

The AMP will be reviewed annually and adopted every four (4) years.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

That Council:

1. Acknowledges there is an investment deficit in providing a level of service that is acceptable by the community, and to deliver all identified capital works.

2. That Council seeks to manage this gap over the next four (4) years.

3. Adopts this Open Space Asset Management Plan.

5.6 Buildings Asset Management Plan Post Community Consultation

The plan outlines what it costs to deliver the current level of service for Council buildings, if this is being met and what the risks are of not meeting these requirements.

The recently adopted Sustainable Building Policy will likely increase all future capital costs for buildings, these impacts will be measured during the project planning stage of the asset lifecycle.

The draft plan was put out for community consultation via Your Say Warrnambool from 20 July to 20 August - There were only two (2) responses.

The plan will be reviewed annually and adopted every 4 years.

The current plan indicates a $4M deficit on average over the next 15 years, as well as a $4.5M renewal backlog.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council Adopts these suites of Building Asset Management Plans.

5.7 Street Tree Planting and Management Policy and Guidelines Report Post Consultation

The existing Street Tree Planting and Management Policy & Guidelines were adopted by

Council on 1 May 2017 and due for review 1 May 2020.

Council has responsibility for the planning, establishment, care and removal of all street trees located within the City’s streetscapes.

These documents provide the framework for the consistent management of street trees

throughout the municipality.

These documents cover: species selection, community consultation, preservation and also triggers for tree removal.

The Policy:

- Provides the principles to all decisions related to street trees.

- Provides protection to significant trees.

The Guidelines:

- Identify the importance of trees to the environment, biodiversity and climate, social health and wellbeing, and general street amenity.

- List care and maintenance activities that are conducted over the life of the tree.

- Lists recommended species.

Additional tree species have been included in the list of preferred species

These two (2) documents were open for community consultation between 30 Oct and 11 Dec - a period of 42 days. This included publication to the Council website, Your Say website, Council’s Facebook page, and a notice in The Standard on November 21.

Feedback has been summarised and addressed as an Appendix, there were a total of nine (9) submissions.

Cr Blain moved and Cr Akoch seconded that Council adopts the revised Street Tree Planting Policy and that Council commits to a review of this policy within 12 months.

Council supported the motion (7-0).

5.8 Nature Strip Landscaping Policy and Guidelines Report Post Consultation

The existing Nature Strip Landscaping Policy & Guidelines were adopted by Council on 1 May 2017 and due for review 1 May 2020.

These documents provide the framework for the consistent management of nature strip landscaping throughout the municipality.

The Policy:

- Provides the objectives of Council in relation to managing nature strip landscaping.

- Provides the key principles for the effective management of landscape areas in road reserves.

The Guidelines:

- Provide information and certainty to the community over what landscape treatments are preferred.

- Provide examples of some alternate treatments and a list of considerations for applicants when considering a nature strip landscaping application.

Council received only limited applications and projects to landscape nature strips since 2017.

The Policy and Guidelines have operated well and no material changes were proposed.

These two (2) documents were open for community consultation between 30 Oct and 11 Dec - a period of 42 days. This included publication to the Council website, Your Say website, Council’s Facebook page, and a notice in The Standard on November 21.

A single response was received supportive of the proposed documents.

The next review will be in four years' time.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council Adopts the revised Nature Strip Landscaping Policy & associated Guidelines.

5.9 Appointments to the City Infrastructure Advisory Committees and External Bodies

To appoint Council representatives to the various Council advisory bodies and external committees for 2020-2021 Council year including:

Port of Warrnambool Reference Group (Terms of Reference refer ATTACHMENT 1)

CCTV Steering Committee (Terms of Reference refer ATTACHMENT 2)

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That Council note the changes made to the Terms of Reference for the Port of Warrnambool Reference Group.

2. The Council appoints and delegates Cr Blain, Cr Taylor and Cr Ziegeler to the Port of Warrnambool Reference Group and that relevant advisory bodies and external committees be advised accordingly.

3. The Council appoints and delegates Cr Arnott and Cr Paspaliaris to the CCTV Steering Committee and that relevant advisory bodies and external committees be advised accordingly.

5.10 Land Supply Audit

The Warrnambool City-Wide Housing Strategy 2013 recommends that Council monitor residential land supply on an annual basis.

This is to ensure that there is adequate zoned residential land to meet projected growth across the municipality.

The 2020 report is an audit based on 2019 data which shows a slight decline in residential land supply from 24.1 years to 23.2 years.

The 2020 report will be placed on Council’s website.

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That Council endorse the Residential Land Supply Report – 2020.

5.11 Meals on Wheels Tender

The intent of this contract is to provide home delivered meals that conform to Home and Community Care (HACC) guidelines that ensure nutritious, appetising meals whereby the ability of the recipient to live as independently as possible is maintained.

The budget for the contract is $285,000 pa (excl GST). The duration of the Contract is two (2) years with a further option for two (2) one-year extensions, with a total expected value between $570,000 and $1,140,000 (excl GST).

One submission was received and considered by the Tender Assessment Panel.

The Tender Assessment Panel has recommended the contract be awarded to South West Healthcare.

Council supported the following recommendations (7-0):

1. That Council award Supply and Delivery of Meals Contract No. 2021005 to South West Healthcare for $285,000 per annum (excl GST).

2. Authorise the Acting CEO to sign and seal the contract documents.

5.12 Advisory Committee Reports

This report contains the record of one Advisory Committee meetings and four Reference Group Meetings.

1. Warrnambool Airport Reference Group meeting held on 14 December 2020

Council supported the following recommendation (7-0):

That the record of the Warrnambool Airport Reference Group meeting held on 14 December 2020, be received.

5.13 Mayoral & Acting Chief Executive Council Activities – Summary Report

Council received the report (7-0).

5.14 Informal Meetings of Council Reports

The purpose of this report is to provide Council with copies of Informal Meetings of Council (previously known as “Assembly of Councillor Records) as previously required under section 80A(2) of the Local Government Act 1989. The record of the following Informal Meetings of Council are enclosed:-

1. Monday 14 December 2020 - refer Attachment 1.

2. Monday 18 January 2021 – refer Attachment 2.

3. Monday 25 January 2021 - refer Attachment 3.

Council received the report (7-0).

6. Public Question Time

7. Close of Meeting

 

 

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