Town of Cambridge council rejects motion for greater transparency and accountability

Town of Cambridge council rejects motion for greater transparency and accountability

ATTEMPTS to make the Town of Cambridge chief executive and planning staff more accountable and transparent have failed.

Mayor Keri Shannon presented two motions at its April 26 council meeting; the first a ban on gifts to the chief executive and planning staff from developers, architects and planners and the second for a public contact register between planning staff and developers, architects and planners.

Both motions were rejected.

According to the Local Government Act 1995, gifts between $50 and $300 must be recorded in a public register but the Town did not have its own policy on the prohibition of gifts for the chief executive and staff.

The Town’s online gift register is accessible to all residents on its website and dates back to 2014.

Ms Shannon said it was not appropriate members of the administration who prepare reports and recommendations for elected members received entertainment perks from developers, architects and planning firms.

Her motion was supported by councillors Rod Bradley, Sonia Grinceri and Andres Timmermanis but they were outnumbered by Louis Carr, Tracey King, Corinne MacRae, Pauline O’Connor and Jane Powell, who voted against it.

Ms Shannon said she might move a similar motion in three months with hope of more support.

Her attempt to make planning staff more accountable was also defeated, 5-4.

She motioned that the chief executive require planning staff record and include in their report, advice as to their contact with developers, architects and planners for multiple dwelling developments and developments in excess of $2 million.