Phone Call Registry Responses

THE Town of Cambridge has taken steps to develop a public register for all correspondence between elected members and developers.

The City of Bayswater, however, has quashed a similar motion.

The Cambridge council gave approval at its December 15 meeting for the chief executive to prepare a report for the council to consider introducing a public register of all elected member meetings and telephone conversations with developers and applicants.

Mayor Keri Shannon said it was important that there was no perceived bias at council level.

“It is worthwhile having a conversation about it. I’m putting up motions that I think have value,” she said.

Councillor Corrine MacRae voted against the motion but noted it would not do any harm.

“It is a heavy-handed approach to something that is not a problem,” Cr MacRae said.

“It is more important that we look at how we deal with developers not how often.

Meanwhile, Cr Dan Bull’s motion for a similar registry for the City of Bayswater was rejected 6-3e on the same night.

Cr Chris Cornish said he found the word “developer” too ambiguous and believed it would lead to more red tape and paperwork, while Cr Alan Radford said developers would find ways around it.

“Developers could just get the architect or builders to call councillors to avoid the register,” he said.

Mayor Barry McKenna said in his 25 years on council, he never saw a need for such a registry.

Cr Bull said his motion was not intended as a personal attack on his fellow councillors, but about the council being trusted by the ratepayers.