News

Big plans for communities

by
January 09, 2018

Seventeen updated community action plans for towns and neighbourhoods were formally noted at last month’s Greater Shepparton City Council meeting.

What are the priorities for your town or community for the year ahead?

What projects and advocacy plans made your neighbourhood’s blueprint document?

Seventeen updated community action plans for towns and neighbourhoods were formally noted at last month’s Greater Shepparton City Council meeting.

And the grassroots plans come from people who live in each community.

Cr Dennis Patterson described the program as a success story, giving small communities a voice, while Cr Bruce Giovanetti said it was fantastic communities were supporting the concept and offering input for their town’s futures.

A report last year showed steering committees had consulted with communities to review each plan, with some hosting ‘‘What’s Happening in Your Town’’ workshops.

These events helped prioritise actions for the next year.

Some action plans require funding, while others focus on advocacy.

Greater Shepparton City Council’s community director Kaye Thomson described the plans as being community-driven.

She said the council helped with drawing up the town plans that, with strong advocacy and residents who want to do community planning, will achieve things for the community.

The priorities will be considered as part of the council’s annual budget building process and council plans.

Ms Thomson said officers would work with the committees to set and achieve the priorities.

‘‘We set a couple they really want to work on,’’ she said.

‘‘Some are visionary, until there’s an option to take them forward.’’

She said the success of some could depend on state or Federal Government funding channels being available, which council could help with securing.

‘‘It’s not always about what the council can do for a community, but how we can assist a community,’’ Ms Thomson said.

The program has expanded in recent years from 11 plans about three years ago.

After completing most towns and localities, the program addresses plans at neighborhood level.

Ms Thomson said one complication was where the boundaries of each neighbourhood would be set.

Moving forward, Ms Thomson said the council was open to other communities putting together their own plans — as long as they were driven by communities themselves.

‘‘We’re waiting for other to approach us,’’ she said.

Ms Thomson said the project’s strength lied in empowering residents, investing a sense of pride in the place they live.

‘‘It gives them a voice,’’ she said.

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