Byron Mayor Councillor Simon Richardson
Byron Mayor Councillor Simon Richardson Contributed

COMMENT: Get involved in the community

IN MY last piece in the Byron Shire News, I put the call out for more community engagement to see if we could develop better communication and engagement outcomes between the community and council.

The response was great, with Councillors Paul Spooner, Duncan Dey, and Basil Cameron joining me, alongside the whole Executive team and GM and representatives from over a dozen community groups to look for positive solutions to the challenges of engagement.

We looked at how we can better engage in a positive environment. How we can provide more ways for the community to have a say and be involved in decisions.

From development applications to strategic plans, there are many opportunities that arise for the community to be involved.

We would love anyone keen to develop positive relationships between Council and the wider community to appraise what Council does currently and to provide alternatives or suggestions.

For example, reading our current communication strategy, sharing best practice models from elsewhere or sharing ideas of how better to notify residents of upcoming D.A’s all could help us put great processes in place.

It takes time to be involved. It takes time to actively participate and community groups have a central role in connecting with Council.

Have you been to a local community group meeting lately? If not, then you should; they are a great way to harness energy and ensure a strong voice.

In addition, following the local government elections in September, we will be renewing our community members on Council committees and project reference groups.

Council groups are a great way to bring your knowledge and passion to the table and gain a deeper understanding of the issue from many differing perspectives.

Letting Council know that you support initiatives and actions, is just as important as letting us know when you don’t.

Why not drop me a line at: simon.richardson@cr.byron.nsw.gov.au


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