A NEW internet database and cardboard signs nailed to wood are separate attempts to improve community consultation at Cottesloe council.
On Monday,councillors agreed the Town needed a database of residents and ratepayers’ contacts so they could get emails telling them to read information on the council’s new website.
“This is so we’re not just bombarding people’s letterboxes with information, we’re just inviting them to go to our site,” database proponent councillor Katrina Downes said.
Cr Downes said the database allowed easier information distribution because not all read newspapers and the website.
The council has been under fire recently from some councillors and residents about a perceived lack of consultation about proposals, including home demolitions, a controversial proposal for 13 apartments opposite Swanbourne train station and proposed State Government rezoning of the McCall Centre for its sale south of the town.
Cr Downes said by using the electoral roll a database could be created to contact people by email, allowing the council to be more informed about public views and keeping residents up to date on proposals and events.
However, Cr Sandra Boulter said it would be better to wait three months to integrate the database into the council’s new social media program, about which staff would report in February.
“But we will be wasting three months to get the database up,” Cr Downes said.
The public will be able to request their contact details be removed from the database, which Mayor Jo Dawkins said was an “ideal” way to link with the public.
Councillors also agreed at the meeting that cardboard signs would go at sites proposed for demolition and neighbours would get letters informing them of the work, its likely time and details of the demolisher, which would have to send its own letter a week before bringing any house down.
A similar system asking for comment on development proposals operates in the City Of Fremantle.
Town of Cottesloe staff said they would decide which neighbours, street or precinct was told about a demolition request at each application, after considering the size and magnitude for the community of the demolition, and wind direction for demolition dust.