Free weekend parking mooted

Mayor Troy Pickard moved the motion at last month’s meeting, with councillors unanimously voting for six of the reports.

The first was to look at making parking in the City centre free all weekend, rather than just on Saturday afternoons and Sundays.

The next was to look at modifying the City Watch security patrols so that during peak times two officers would be in at least one vehicle, to improve their ability to address antisocial behaviour.

‘Significant feedback that I receive from residents is their ongoing frustration that officers do not exit their vehicle to investigate antisocial activity that involves groups of people,’ Mr Pickard said.

He said it was an occupational health and safety risk for one officer to approach a number of people and having two officers would enable them to ‘conduct more investigative inquiries’.

Another report requested the review of the City’s kerb-side (wheelie bins) and verge-side (bulk rubbish) collections including frequency of collections and size of the bins.

Mr Pickard also requested an independent audit of the City’s services and activities to explore how operational efficiency could be improved and costs reduced, as well as a review of the City’s after-hours call centre.

Given the City’s 12.5 per cent reduction in groundwater consumption since 2010-11, a review of the dry park program to potentially irrigate more parklands was also requested.

The seventh report was to look at incorporating the attendance of councillors at civic dinners, events and budget workshops into the City’s annual report.

Mr Pickard said councillors were only required to attend council meetings, but given the ‘significant increase in allowances’ six months ago, there was a ‘broader expectation within the community’.

Cr Brian Corr moved an amendment to remove dinners and events and only include councillors’ attendance at budget workshops.

He said dinners and events were not compulsory and people sometimes could not attend them due to work commitments.

‘I think if you make a commitment to your role as a councillor, you would have nothing to fear from a public record being made available on your attendance at these events,’ Cr John Chester said.

The amendment was lost four votes to eight and the report request was passed nine to three, with Crs Corr, Teresa Ritchie and Christine Hamilton-Prime opposed.