Community Strategic Planning forum

Hawkesbury City Councillors at the Community Strategic Planning weekend.
Hawkesbury City Councillors at the Community Strategic Planning weekend.

Hawkesbury City Council has commenced its review of the Community Strategic Plan (CSP) with a Strategic Planning weekend held locally on 19-20 November for Councillors and executive staff.

The weekend involved Councillors in workshops and group discussions about the future needs of the Hawkesbury.

This is the first step in developing a draft document for Council to discuss with the community through a wide ranging community engagement process. This will include public meetings, focus groups and shopping centre displays.

The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett said it was important to bring everyone together.

“Following the recent Local Government election, we are required to review the Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan,” Mayor Lyons-Buckett said.

“Councillors enjoyed the interactive and collaborative sessions with staff on various topics including looking at the ‘big picture’ and ‘what makes a great Community Strategic Plan’.

“We all found the weekend to be a broadly positive experience, as the launch pad to developing a framework for the revised Plan.”

Council staff provided a closer look at the current situation for the Hawkesbury Local Government Area. A Question and Answer Panel Session with executive staff on the panel helped to provide Councillors with an insight into the current challenges facing the Hawkesbury.

“We considered how the local government integrated planning and reporting framework works in practice and the lessons we can learn from elsewhere through case studies and best practice,” the Mayor said.

“It gave us time to explore the opportunities and challenges in the delivery of services, infrastructure, governance and sustainable finance.

“We had many constructive and rewarding sessions in which Councillors and executive staff could discuss our future directions,” the Mayor added.

“The aim of the reviewed Community Strategic Plan will be to clearly define the roles, responsibilities and processes that Council requires to implement the Plan.

“It was ultimately a successful gathering because it helped us, as Councillors, to better understand the purpose of the CSP and the interrelationships between the CSP and other plans within Council such as the Residential Lands Strategy.

A draft of an amended CSP arising from the planning weekend will be presented at the Council Meeting on Tuesday, 13 December. Community engagement is planned for February 2017.