Council is required by law to report back to its residents on its performance throughout the year. This comes under the umbrella of Best Value, and the objective is to provide quantifiable measures which would indicate whether council is actually improving in its performance in all service areas. The legislation basically requires a council to ensure that:

(c)     each service provided by a Council must be accessible to those members of the community for whom the service is intended;

        (d)     a Council must achieve continuous improvement in the provision of services for its community;

        (e)     a Council must develop a program of regular consultation with its community in relation to the services it provides;

        (f)     a Council must report regularly to its community on its achievements in relation to the principles set out in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e)

Given this, we have to ask:

  • Why does council remove the previous Best Value reports from its website, so comparisons from year to year become impossible?
  • How well do any of the stated Quality & Cost Standards actually provide real evidence of continued service improvement?
  • How can the quoted CPI figures be so different throughout one single document when the Best Value Report is supposed to be an analysis for the entire year? For example: on page 47 we are told it is 3%; on page 13 it becomes 2.8% and on page 15 it is 2%. Since increased costs are ‘justified’ via applying CPI increases, we have to wonder whether higher CPI rates are used to camouflage what’s really been going on!

We’ve uploaded the full document HERE, and ask residents not to laugh, especially at the following – the Town Planning ‘evaluation’. Please note:

  • That of a 3 page report, 2 pages are devoted to self congratulations!
  • And, whether the ‘standards’ are really revealing what they should reveal. For example: ‘Acceptance of policy by community’ is ‘measured’ by the number of alleged resident objections. Of course, in Glen Eira speak, VCAT hike rises has nothing to do with residents thinking twice about objecting. Nor does the prospect of facing a panel of developer ‘experts’ and barristers, etc. etc. etc.
  • We also have serious doubts about any of the figures cited, especially when the last three Service reports stated that only 56%, 67% and 70% of new dwellings were sited in Housing Diversity. Of course this new figure of 86% is nothing but an aberration due to the 442 apartments that will constitute the first part of the Caulfield Village – a Priority Development zone!

We finally remind readers that year after year the 400 survey results that constitute the Community Satisfaction Report, have highlighted planning, traffic and consultation as the major failures of this council. Nothing in the Best Value report changes anything, nor even indicates ‘progress’ and ‘continuous service improvement’.

Again, we ask that readers refrain from laughter when perusing the following:

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