Controversial Code of Conduct Adopted
A code compelling all council staff to file written reports on the specific details of any interaction with a member of the public has been adopted by Central Coast Council, at its final meeting before the election in Wyong last night.
The code also stipulates staff get written approval from the council CEO or leadership team before responding if necessary.
It was dubbed a ‘cone of silence’ by Joy Cooper, who spoke against it at the meeting. Ms Cooper questioned Council Administrator Ian Reynolds how many residents raised the issue of the need for everything to be recorded when he met with them in community engagement.
She also suggested what locals actually wanted more prompt responses and discussion to their queries than Council is currently giving them.
Council CEO Rob Noble spoke in favor of the proposal, saying it was “sensible and required” and that in his nearly 50 years of experience, some councilors are self-serving or don’t follow the rules, and need behavioral standards to adhere to.
Rezoning proposal rejected
Central Coast Council has resolved not to rezone land in Springfield to allow for low density development, over concerns for the environment.
The decision came despite the arguments from local ecologist Elizabeth Ashby, who spoke on how the partial development of the land at 35-45 Clarence road would see the environmental diversity of the area retained, and that refusal to rezone would result in a loss of biodiversity.
However, Council’s group leader for environment and planning Scott Cox said the current zoning was consistent with the ecological attributes of the area, and claimed the applicant didn’t put the same value on the land as council does.
Using a Minute, Administrator Ian Reynolds highlighted the fact this was the last council meeting before the September 9 election, and sought to draw attention to council’s achievements in 15 months since Gosford and Wyong were amalgamated.
Mr Reynolds counted greater transparency – in the form of webcasting council meetings and accountability procedures – the Coast’s strong financial position, the investment in tourism in the region and the opening of projects such as the Wyong Art House and upgrades to Central Coast stadium among the Council’s achievements.
“The priority of this Administration period has been to build a solid foundation for the newly elected Council in September 2017 and I believe that has been achieved,” Mr Reynolds said.
“Both former Councils did almost everything differently and there are currently over 150 internal projects underway to bring processes and systems together.
“New legislative and governance requirements are now in place so we can operate as a single Council, we have implemented a new brand, vision and values and aligned customer service processes so that residents and businesses can deal with Council more efficiently.