The very expensive exercise in publishing the Annual Report is now over. Councillors ‘accepted’ the report in a record 7 minutes at Tuesday night’s Special Council Meeting! How many even read it? As with previous reports, Council is wonderful at providing mind boggling statistics so that no-one has any idea as to what they actually represent or mean. There’s one example we simply cannot pass over since it is so ludicrous. We invite comments as to what the following may mean –

“Playground inspections – 18,377” (page 101)

Council claims there are 47 playgrounds. That would mean that EVERY SINGLE playground is ‘inspected’ 1.07 times each day! But what does ‘inspection’ actually mean’? Occupational Health & Safety testing? A drive past by cleaners? An ‘inspection’ via aerial photographs? A casual walk through? Such, dear readers is the value of this figure.

Next there is the question regarding restaurants and ‘food registered businesses’. For years now Glen Eira has claimed that there are 840 registered food businesses in the municipality. We certainly doubt this given the explosion of cafes everywhere. It also doesn’t explain why council should have reaped an extra $107,000 in fees as stated in the accounts, if the number remains at 840 and registration fees have remained relatively stable.

Then there’s the promise that service levels will be maintained. Another unsubstantiated claim when the figures are looked at. Some examples: –

  • Less drains have been cleared – 32 km in 2010 and now 14.8km
  • Less footpaths fixed – 28.9 km in 2010 and now 19.61 km (and the reason given? ‘The decrease in the amount of footpaths replaced is due to a cost increase per square metre laid due to a new tender’. What does this say about the tendering process and how does it explain that for every single year since 2010 the km have dropped? Wasn’t part of this with the ‘old tender’?
  • Less roads reconstructed – 4.77 in 2010 and now 4.06
  • Mains water use in parks has doubled since 2010/11
  • Gesac has gobbled up double of water use not in parks since 2010/11

The best however, requires no commentary from us. Here are some extracts that we are confident will deliver howls of laughter!

Glen Eira City Council is committed to governing the City of Glen Eira in a democratic, open and responsible manner in the best interests of the community.

Council consults, listens and takes note of community views to determine its priorities and needs, and then acts through open, transparent processes that are financially and environmentally responsible and sustainable.

Glen Eira City Council is charging developers more than any other municipality in order to help pay for new and better parks for Glen Eira. (page 50) (Stonnington $9.634m; page 123 of their annual report and their open space reserve now stands at $36.932m).

Council will use current and emerging technology each year to provide broader opportunities for the community members to have their say about Council services and future plans. The use of sound evidence, community input and representation, and transparent decision-making processes; including follow-up and reporting will ensure Glen Eira continues to offer services that meet community needs. (page 53)

And then there’s always the ‘gunna do’ promises that never eventuate

Due to Melbourne’s building boom, Council is managing a large number of planning applications.With more development happening throughout the municipality and grade separation works commencing, Glen Eira will continue to be an attractive place to live. Council will implement further measures to reduce the amenity impact on residents as a result of this construction activity

Population and development pressures will impact particularly on parking in local streets. Council will continue to review and develop plans while working with the community, to strategically manage and accommodate for the future impact of this.

Glen Eira is experiencing extraordinary levels of building activity with many multi-unit developments being constructed. As a result, residents are experiencing substantial inconvenience such as road closures, limited parking, building noise and dust. Council’s challenge is to try to balance the needs of residents and their comfort with allowing the construction process to be completed quickly and safely.

And the best for last! –

Good governance is accountable, transparent,responsive, inclusive and efficient. Council is committed to providing good governance through its decision-making process by engaging the community, providing leadership, investing in the future and acting responsibly.

Council governs for and on behalf of the Glen Eira community. Good governance is accountable, lawful, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive.