Thursday, April 25, 2024

New Kiama leadership team look to sustainable future

Kiama Council says its new leadership team has hit the ground running to set the direction for the organisation’s sustainable future.

Mayor, Neil Reilly (pictured), and CEO, Jane Stroud said the first order of business for Council will be shaping Kiama’s new Community Strategic Plan (CSP).

The CSP will be developed via a series of Mayor and Councillor-led community workshops that will outline Council’s current challenges and key strategic priorities, and invite feedback from residents.

Mayor Reilly said discussions with the new Council had been positive so far.

“It’s wonderful to see that our Council team represents a good balance of views, experiences and backgrounds,” he said.

“This diversity will ensure our community has strong representation in Council’s decisions over the next three years – starting with the development of our new CSP, the document that sets the compass for all of Council’s operations.”

Ms Stroud said work on the CSP comes at an ideal time, enabling the Council to set an agenda that is both grounded in reality, informed by current challenges and strategic in terms of strengthening Council’s ongoing financial sustainability.

“The Community Strategic Plan drives our budget and, ultimately, the services we deliver across the municipality. We also use it to report against annually so it’s important that it is a document that is practical, and that propels us towards the strategic improvements that need to be made in the business in the next four years,” she said.

A series of CSP-focused community workshops will be held across the LGA, facilitated by the Mayor and Councillors, and supported by staff.

By giving the community direct access to their elected representatives and sharing the facts on the current state and challenges, we hope that the community can see and understand first hand the challenges being experienced and help problem-solve and work with the Councillors to set a realistic new vision, with a shared set of priorities and strategic improvement opportunities, Council said in a statement.

In the workshops, Councillors will outline the challenges, priorities and opportunities the organisation has and provide a series of fact sheets on the ‘state of play’ in core business areas.

“The idea is to be open and transparent with the community in discussing the issues Council faces – particularly in operational matters and around financial sustainability,” said Ms Stroud.

“Participating in the workshops will allow the Mayor, Councillors, Council staff and the community to work together to gather information and formulate a draft CSP, which will be reported back to Council. This will ensure we create a meaningful CSP, grounded in truth and with a vision that is fit for purpose,” she said.

Mayor Reilly said the new Council was committed to listening to the community and transparently sharing information as decisions are made.

“While there are challenges to overcome, we have an exciting opportunity to set a clear direction for Kiama Council’s new era,” he said.

“Community input is critical and we’re inviting residents to get involved. You can start by taking part in the CSP online survey.”

Dates for the workshops will be announced next week.

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