AlburyCity Councillors have endorsed a draft Communications and Engagement Strategy, Engaging Albury, which will now go on public exhibition for community feedback.
Council says the strategy was developed to ensure there is a consistent and considered approach to engaging with the Albury community, with a focus on seeking early input to guide projects, services and strategic direction.
“Our community has consistently told us that they need more input into Council decision-making and would like to be better informed about decisions, projects, events and more,” said Mayor, Kylie King.
“Engaging Albury reinforces our commitment to engaging with our community early and often, so that they are aware of what’s going on in their city and have the opportunity to have their say.”
With people’s preferences for how they source and consume information continually changing, there is an increased need to deliver timely and relevant communications in a way that suits everchanging lifestyles and diverse needs, the Council said in a statement.
This means considering digital, hard copy and face-to-face methods to ensure the intended audience is being reached.
AlburyCity generally engages with the community at two key stages during the development of a project, activity, strategy or masterplan.
The first stage involves seeking input to help develop a draft for presentation to Councillors. This will include whole of community engagement and targeted engagement of particular groups or individuals that may be affected or have an interest.
The second stage of engagement takes place after the draft has been developed and reported to Council. The draft project, activity, strategy or masterplan is placed on public exhibition to seek community feedback prior to being adopted by Council.
Council says it will assess and implement community feedback wherever possible, balancing it against legislation and case law, budget impacts, Council policies and resolutions, professional and technical subject matter expert advice, social impacts, economic impacts, environmental impacts, adopted plans and strategies and previous decisions and precedents.
The five-year Engaging Albury Strategy contains a range of principles and objectives that will underpin all community engagement activities.
An Implementation Plan accompanies the strategy and will be reviewed annually. Actions include introducing an enhanced and accessible digital engagement platform to replace AlburyCity’s Have your Say website; scoping the introduction of community partnering through identified community groups; building a calendar of proactive in-community engagement events and pop-ups; ensuring a Stakeholder Engagement Plan is developed for every project or initiative that may impact or be of significant interest to the community; developing communications to close the loop with the community and explain reasoning for decisions and much more.
The community can have their say about the Communications and Engagement Strategy on the AlburyCity website.