Stephen Patterson for a Healthy, Well Connected Community
One of Holdfast Bay's great strengths is the sense of community. Pride in the community creates a trust and support network that is the foundation on which we can build.
The coastal environment we live in encourages people to get outdoors and be healthy. We need to foster this and ensure Council manages our open spaces so that they bring people together and are safe, well maintained and able to be enjoyed by all.
The key areas which help build a healthy community and that I will support as mayor are
- Sporting & Community Clubs
- Quality Open Spaces
- Support the Elderly & Disadvantaged
- Cycling & Walking tracks
- Community Safety
- Community Consultation
Sporting and community clubs are vital to building a strong community. My family are members of the Glenelg Surf Lifesaving Club and we have experienced the importance of clubs to the community first hand. As part of my involvement with the club I am a volunteer lifesaver and patrol captain. All the lifesaving clubs in the Holdfast area perform a valuable community service keeping the beach environment safe. They also have a growing number of children joining them and provide a healthy and safe environment for young families in the community.
Through my children's participation and also as an elected member I have experienced a similar story with the numerous other clubs present throughout Holdfast Bay.
I will seek to foster a supportive relationship between Council and sporting and community clubs with an emphasis on gender equity so that everyone can have equal access to facilities.
Open space that is functional and well maintained is important. The extension of open space at the Old Gum tree reserve has activated this historically significant reserve. The playground and flying fox are tremendously popular.
Similarly the John Millar reserve has been converted into a well used community hub complete with Playground, BBQ and toilet facilities, where once it was an unsheltered and little used park.
We will work to stop social isolation and provide our elderly and disadvantaged with support and respect by providing targeted health and transport programs.
Provide and maintain walking and cycling networks, such as the Mike Turtur Bikeway and provide a continuous coast park along the entire foreshore of Holdfast Bay.
By investing in improved lighting and CCTV measures, residents and visitors to the region can safely enjoy our facilities.
Additionally council has a successful Graffiti removal program that I will continue to support. Over the last 2 years the rate of graffiti in Holdfast Bay has reduced. This means less money is diverted away from important community programs rather than being wasted on vandalism.
Council should continue to invest in libraries and upgrade them to become complete information centres to be able to cater for paper based books for some sections of the community as well as incorporating the transition to the exciting opportunities that electronic books will offer others.
To ensure that the expectations of the community are being met requires community consultation. In my role as councillor and Deputy Mayor I have always encouraged community consultation to feed into the decision making process and have shown a willingness to listen.
Primarily this requires making use online community engagement tools, such as the "Your View Holdfast" platform, which Council has set up in 2011. One of the aspects of the business I run is that it conducts electronic surveys on behalf of organisations. These surveys gain rapid feedback and quickly establish areas where improvement is required. Similarly, I see "Your View Holdfast" as a fantastic tool to guide Council and democratising the decision making process as best as possible and would look to expand its capabilities.