Esakoff moved to accept ‘as printed’ with Pilling seconding.

ESAKOFF:  Began by stating that ‘it’s impossible’ to compare this set of figures with any previous results and read out several sections from the actual report to support this statement. ‘results appear to be very good’…….’overall performance rated at 91% which included very good, good and average’. Esakoff went on with other purported figures – ie higher than state average in many areas and in comparison to inner Melbourne councils ‘good or very good’. Claimed that satisfaction ratings were ‘generally higher’ for those areas ‘under Council’s control’ and lower for those areas that have ‘shared responsibility’ (with the State Government that includes) ‘parking…..high density development’. Said that council’s community forums on the Council Plan are ‘fully reflected here” with ‘waste management ….recreation facilities at 77%’. Went through other results such as footpaths, customer service – all these services which ‘rated very well, as usual’….’all in all a very good result for Glen Eira’ and need to improve areas that didn’t do so well and ‘maintain areas’ that did well.

PILLING: ‘good report’. Commented that Glen Eira does well against the other councils in the group. Thought that this was a ‘positive change in strategy’ (ie new methodology).

LIPSHUTZ: Thought that council needed ‘to look’ at the areas where they ‘weren’t so good’. Highlighted page 6 as the ‘areas where we can improve upon’ …’traffic and parking are two big ones….town planning…..communication….that comes through in our community consultation’. These things council has sought to ‘address in our community plan’….’those are the things that substantiate the direction that council is taking’….’within twelve months or more we will see further improvement’….

HYAMS: Agreed with Esakoff and Lipshutz in that the report ‘let’s us see the areas where the community would like us to improve’. Emphasised that only 6% of surveyed people said the council ‘was poor or very poor’ versus 64% who said it was ‘good or very good’. Claimed that a comparison could be made with previous years on ‘general direction’ and 20% claimed it had improved  ‘and only 7% said it had deteriorated’…..’outstanding result’….’anyone who seeks (to present this in any other light is) ‘simply being dishonest’…’does let us know where we do need to improve….take that on board’

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

COMMENTS:

We congratulate councillors (Hyams, Esakoff, and Lipshutz) once again on their incredible sleight of hand manoeuvrings. First, trot out all the supposed ‘positives’, then make minimal mention of the ‘negatives’ with the promise to ‘improve’. We take issue with:

  • Esakoff’s spurious and misleading statement that the areas where council scored lowest are those that comprise ‘shared responsibility’ with Government.  Apart from MAIN ROADS, Council is 100% responsible for all other roads in the municipality. Traffic management on these roads is totally Council’s domain. With planning Council has the ability to amend its Planning Scheme. Again we reiterate that this is a council without structure plans, without parking precincts, without height limits and has never even attempted to introduce any of these elements into its planning.
  • Lipshutz’s argument is equally fallacious. Yes, keep your eye on the components that need improvement. But then to go on and argue that since this survey “substantiates the direction that council is moving’ is quite laughable. There is ‘no direction’ whatsoever, except more of the same! The council plan fails dismally to address issues of parking, over development, etc. There’s also the simple fact that these major issues are nothing new. Council has been told over and over, year after year, that these are major resident concerns. To then claim that further improvement will be ‘in the next 12 months’ is quite remarkable.

Finally there is one very revealing set of figures in this survey. Respondents were asked to name areas/issues they thought were important and then to rate Council’s performance against these expectations. No councillor really highlighted, much less mentioned these results. We provide them for residents and emphasise that there is an incredible difference between what residents expect, value, and rate highly, with how they assess council’s actual performance in these areas. For us, this is the most telling result from the survey! (Full survey uploaded here)

“Services on which rated importance exceed performance include:  

– Planning & building permits: performance 53, importance 73 = -20 net differential

– Planning for population growth in the area: performance 53, importance 72 = -19 net differential

– Traffic management: performance 55, importance 72 = -17 net differential

– Community consultation and engagement: performance 56, importance 70 = -14 net differential

– Council’s general town planning policy: performance 56, importance 70 = -14 net differential

– Parking facilities: performance 56, importance 69 = -13 net differential

– Elderly support services: performance 67, importance 79 = –12 net differential

– Informing the community: performance 61, importance 73 = -12 net differential

– Lobbying on behalf of the community: performance 54, importance 64 = -10 net differential

– Disadvantaged support services: performance 64 , importance 73 = -9 net differential

– Environmental sustainability: performance 63, importance 72 = -9 net differential

– Condition of local streets and footpaths: performance 68, importance 75 = -7 net differential

– Family support services: performance 66, importance 71 = –5 net differential

– Enforcement of local laws: performance 65, importance 68 = -3 net differential

– Waste management: performance 79, importance 81 = -2 net differential

AND

It is recommended that Glen Eira City Council pay extra attention to areas where it is underperforming on a relative basis in comparison to the State-wide and Inner Melbourne Metropolitan groups such as Consultation and Advocacy……” 

AND

Glen Eira City Council should also pay particular attention to the service areas where importance exceeds performance by more than 10 points, including:

– Planning and building permits

– Planning for population growth in the area

– Traffic management

– Community consultation and engagement

– Council’s general town planning policy

– Parking facilities

– Elderly support services

– Informing the community