To work on an ongoing basis with the community to ensure that community ideas, concerns and aspirations are listened to and understood and that community knowledge is harnessed for the benefit of all.
Community involvement enables the community to provide ongoing and in-depth input into community planning and into the development of solutions and resources that are best able to meet the community’s needs. It also enables the community and service users to have substantial input into the development of services. Participatory structures and on-line engagement have the potential to empower communities and to enable residents including young people to gain skills in community participation. In turn they provide for ongoing dialogue with Council and the potential for higher quality and specialist input into Council’s planning and decision making processes.
We will work with you on an ongoing basis to ensure that your ideas, concerns and aspirations are considered. We will provide feedback on Council’s decisions.
Consultative Groups are established by Council. Membership is by invitation of the Council and expressions of interest generally advertised in the media and on the web.
It is essential to the balanced operation of any consultative/working/user group and the like that membership is reflective of all views and is regularly refreshed and not “hijacked” by strongly held thoughts of non elected people or interest groups and not become “owned” by a small group of residents. Outside of the “involving process” it is inappropriate for members to lobby or endeavour to politically influence the Council.
It should be noted that all meetings of Council and any of its consultative groups are open to the public and should be advertised accordingly.
Consultative Groups have terms of reference which include:
Council will establish and/or continue Consultative Groups, including the following:
Council may establish Working Groups from time to time to focus on particular issues at hand. Each Working Group would be composition determined by the Council together with specific terms of reference and reporting mechanisms. These Groups are “sunset” groups which cease to function once Council is satisfied that their work is complete.
An example is the successful Bicycle Working Group which was responsible for the development of the Mosman Bicycle Strategy. It comprised a Councillor, two staff and three community representatives and reported through the Traffic Committee.
The encouragement and support of User Groups such as:
Other User Groups may be facilitated by Council or may be self-forming, they meet as they like, and they receive some administrative support but usually are supported by volunteers, for example:
The encouragement and support of volunteer groups such as:
These groups may be facilitated by Council or may be self-forming. They are encouraged and supported by staff who work closely with them. They focus on the service for which they volunteer. Attendance is open to all relevant volunteers and interested residents.
Liaison Groups are encouraged by Council and supported administratively. The only current such group is:
The Group comprises:
Make more use of on-line spaces – such as blogs and forums – where two-way communication between Council and the community is encouraged and nurtured.
Acknowledge and mentor those community members who are active participants on-line or who wish to be.
Hold workshops for Councillors to encourage their use of blogs and other social media to communicate and converse with the community.
Hold social media workshops at Mosman Library to promote Council’s on-line engagement and give practical support for community participation.
Hold a regular brainstorming session along the lines of IBM’s Innovation Jam or the Guardian’s Hack Day to generate ideas and foster creative thinking.
Make information resources, wherever possible, available under an open content licence, specifically a Creative Commons Australia licence, to promote the use and dissemination of Council’s materials while retaining Council’s rights of authorship.
Continue collaborative projects on-line that allow the community to document and share its local knowledge while also participating in other collaborative spaces, such as Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap (an open data map repository).
Ensure that priority is given to open data formats to allow cost-effective and efficient use of that information by other Council systems as well as external applications and users. When commissioning or upgrading data systems and services, Council should prioritise the building of an application programming interface (API) to that information.
Keep relevant senior staff, managers and key professional officers informed of on-line discussions and report to Council as appropriate.