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Open Forum - General Discussion

by Willoughby Admin, about 8 years ago

There is where you can have your say about any relevant local or regional issues that you feel impact on the Willoughby community.

  • HLamont2 about 8 years ago
    We moved into Willoughby almost exactly year ago. I have lived in several council areas in Sydney; Sydney City, Hunters Hill, Leichardt, Ryde. I have never been more impressed by my local Council. I think Willoughby is leading the way for other Councils. The new Concourse is unbelievable, such a fabulous community asset. I also love the way Willoughby seek input from residents, and have so much on offer for everyone! Any dealings we have had with Council have been easy and professional. We are very happy to be here!
  • 123degrees about 8 years ago
    Yes we are lucky to have a very responsive council and especially the staff who do a lo the hard work.I think one of your biggest issues with the warming of the planet is keeping our suburb cool and would like to see what we can do to encourage more trees and cool zones for those ridiculous heat waves that are now becoming more frequent.
    • RobbieT about 8 years ago
      I agree 123deg. We need to improve on succession planting. There is currently a scheme in Canberra (as they have realised that most of the trees were planted at the same time), and will eventually need to be removed at the same time....leaving a very barren National Capital. They have overcome that by establishing plant nurseries specifically for planting trees now to replace those that are ageing. We should perhaps be thinking about the same thing?
  • ashamazz about 8 years ago
    The new Concourse is a dream. What an achievement. As a resident, I am so proud of it. The library is brilliant. I find it intersting that some of my friends don't like it - too big & bland. They prefer the small branch libraries. All needs are accommodated in Willoughby Municipality. We are so, so lucky. Maybe the after 5pm parking could be at a rate similar to the city $12?
    • Eddy about 8 years ago
      Absolutely! The library is so full, we almost need another one. Interestingly, the bookshelf areas are not very crowded, but all the communal seating spots are regularly packed. Goes to show how valued and important public space is.Is it the library or the outside space they think is bland? I suspect both will improve with time. Some plants creeping up those bare concrete beams in the library would help (though that would surely muck up those clean, architecturally modernist white lines).The kids section of the library needs some more thought, but Im sure those spaces will be fixed and brightened with kid-sized chairs and tables soon.
  • pang about 8 years ago
    We are grateful that it's such a fantastic community to live. We have been to the new concourse a thousand times-- my 2 kids would have a good run on the grass then they go to read their favourite books in the library. I agree that there aren't many trees at concourse though. We won't be able to go many times in the summer as there are not much shade and could get really hot. Can we get at least some sail shade over the grass?
    • Darius about 8 years ago
      Hi Pang,Thanks for the feedback, it's great to hear that you and the kids enjoy The Concourse.In regards to the shade, there are some more shaded seating areas as part of the restaurant spaces still to be installed which will offer some more shade to those dining at restaurants. The tree is not yet to its full size. It too will offer more shade once it grows. Thanks for the suggestion on the shade sail. We will look at the operation of the open space over the next 12 months and see how it can be improved. We will incorporate this feedback into future planning of the site.
  • firthc about 8 years ago
    I have a child about to start school in 2012 at Artarmon Public and whilst he has been on the after school care waiting list for 2 years and I already have another child in after school care, I am very concerned he will not be offered a place next year. There is growing concern within the community that there are insufficient places for before and after school care. What is being done in the Willoughby council to offer additional places for working parents?
    • Darius about 8 years ago
      Hi firthc,Thanks for your feedback. We will pass on your comments to our Children's Services department.
    • Willoughby Admin about 8 years ago
      “A Council operated Out of School Hours service is provided from Artarmon Kids Cottage for up to 80 children per day. This facility is currently filled to capacity with many on a waiting list particularly for After School Care. However there is no ability to expand this facility to meet the current increasing After School Care needs of working parents for this type of service for children who are now or will be attending Artarmon Public School in 2012. Over the past couple of years there has been an unprecedented influx of new families into the Artarmon area. To accurately determine this demand Council conducted a Childcare Needs Analysis for the whole of the Council area late last year and identified that as a result of an increase in the school aged population in Artarmon there would also be a corresponding increase in demand for Out of School Hours Services. Unlike the Education Department where schools are required by law to provide an education service for all school aged children within their catchment area, Council is not the responsible body for addressing all the Out of School Hours service needs of every student within the same area. As such and at this time Council is unable to expand Kids Cottage or to acquire or utilise any other facility to meet this unprecedented level of demand in Artarmon.”
    • ashamazz about 8 years ago
      The shortage of before & after school care has been a problem that I have been aware of since my children started primary school. My eldest is now 21 years old! Surely this is not an impossible problem. There must be a solution. Surely his niche market could become a profitable enterprise
    • Kathryne about 8 years ago
      I agree with your comment. Our daughter is in kindergarten at Artarmon and has only in term 4 got a full place for before & after-school care. It was very stressful for us and everyone has wiped their hands of it - the council, the school and the P&C. They all say it's not their responsibility, and they're probably right, but that doesn't make it any easier for working parents. I spent a lot of time speaking with Children's services and the General Manager, as Chatswood had vacancies at the beginning of 2011, but the council were unwilling to make transport arrangements for Artarmon kids to get there. I know children's services think the matter is closed but I really feel that the discussion should be reopened as the population growth is continuing, demand is growing and parents are desperate.
    • Yenda about 8 years ago
      This is an important issue. Is it possible/economically feasible for a before and after school childcare service to be provided at all local primary schools? With a baby boom happening currently, it is an urgent issue.
  • Adviser169 about 8 years ago
    I like to see Council making decisions not pressured by self interested group. I live on Greville Street off Fullers Road. There is a very very small park at the intersection. Since the park is very small and is on a busy road, there are very few patrons. Only the very local people will use it. However there was a decision to build a toilet inside the park and the toilet tooks a few months to build. I dont know how much it costs the Council, this is definitely NOT money well spent. We can go home and use our own toilets.
  • Larlys about 8 years ago
    I cannot understand why a council area the size of Willoughby only has a small indoor swimming pool to service such a large area. Willoughby Leisure Centre's pool most days is overused and it is very difficult for members of the general public to get enough space to swim lanes. I would be very interested to know what plans council has to improve and increase Willoughby Leisure Centre's facilities and in what time frame it is proposed.
    • RobbieT about 8 years ago
      Totally agree. It would be great for WIlloughby to have an outdoor Olympic pool available for the community. Lane Cove pool is probably the closest.
    • ashamazz about 8 years ago
      I agree that Willoughby Leisure Centre's lap pool is small, compared to olympic pools. The Centre has excellent gym, exercise classes, children's swimming lesson programmes and pools for children. I think this area is well served with pools. Lane Cove & North Sydney are very close. The public pool adjacent to St Mary's Cathedral in the city is excellent & accessible by public transport. Northbridge tidal pool is open 12 months of the year & is very well maintained. Greenwich has a tidal pool also, all be it difficult to access. Manly can be accessed by public transport bus 144 from Crows Nest. The new M40 red bus makes access to the eastern suburbs & city easier too. Willoughby Council could install more bike racks at all their sporting facilities so that the youth can cycle there & lock their bikes safely. Maybe the Council could look at building above the Netball courts & adding additional sporting facilities on a 1st floor!
      • Larlys about 8 years ago
        I do not think that Willoughby Council residents should have to go out of area to access a swimming pool. Council has land available for an olympic size pool and given the number of residents should be able to provide this facility which would benefit so many local schools and families. Lane Cove is the closest and North Sydney is also good but at both these spots it is very difficult to park during the day and on the weekend, likewise Greenwich. North bridge aside from being tidal is very difficult to access for anybody who is not very fit as the hill is very difficult to negotiate.
  • RogerP about 8 years ago
    I am a member of the Naremburn Progress Association and attend quite regularly - I find them a great way to stay in touch with what's happening in the local community, and also a way of thanking the community for some of the wonderful benefits we experience in living in this area.One of the Standing Items on the agenda for each Progress Association meeting is a Report from our Ward Councillors, however of late they have been largely absent. I am not necessarily being critical, as I seek to understand what they think their responsibilities are, and whether the Council believes the Councillors are supposed to attend? Or is this something that has arisen purely from custom and practice? If the latter, why haven't they attended recently, as their reports always provide a great first hand insight into the activities of our local Council.
    • Rebecca about 8 years ago
      One aspect of the Councillor’s role is to gain an understanding of what is important to the community and use this information in the decision making process. Some Councillors may use meetings such as these to gather and share information and in the past their attendance has been voluntary. Councillors do have very busy schedules and there is a lot of demand on them to attend after-hours meetings and events. However we can pass on your feedback and to let them know the community does find their attendance very useful.
      • BruceF almost 8 years ago
        Hi.Having been an elected member of another Council many years ago, I can attest to the many pressures on a Councillor's time. Whilst they need to respond to the needs of their constituents, they also have family responsibilities. Please understand these difficulties. The other night I spoke to one Councillor who was attending 3 meetings that night. My experience exactly.Also, RogerP, please don't think you are being ignored just because your Councillors don't go to every meeting of NPA. With 3 of them, attendance could be shared. There are also many other ways to communicate with them. I have always been able to contact and receive prompt feedback from my Ward Councillors.
  • RogerP about 8 years ago
    The trees in my street (Merrenburn Avenue) have exceeded their useful life, and whilst being occasionally trimmed are rather unsightly, with overhead cables running through the middle of them. What is the procedure to instigate a review and action plan for replanting with a more appropriate selection?
  • GeoffP about 8 years ago
    Hi all,Some streets are difficult to drive along because so narrow and parking occurs on both sides, eg Warrane Rd at Mc Clelland STI think we might copy the English solution of having people park on the odd street numbers side of street on odd day dates of the month and even side on even day dates.Would need community cooperation though.
    • RobbieT about 8 years ago
      I agree - many roads in our precinct are only one lane wide once there is a car parked. Take Sydney Road for example, on Saturdays it becomes quite scary to drive down. Road widening is an option, or parking on one side only on many roads in the area.
      • Larlys about 8 years ago
        I agree. Another option would be to make some of the particularly busy feeder roads one way only.I would also like to see the No parking areas on Mowbray road extended further along now that there has been an upgrade near the Great Northern hotel. Cars that are travelling along Mowbray road in the left hand lane towards Chatswood after coming crossing the highway , turing into Mowbray road from the highway or turning from Elizabeth Street do not have enough room to merge safely due to cars parked on Mowbary Road thus causing traffic congestion.
    • cloughnan about 8 years ago
      I agree. Also on the parking issue, it would be great if the council offered visitor parking permits, like the north sydney council do. The streets around where we live are only 2 hour parking during the week which can be problematic when visitors need to park for longer.
      • Yenda about 8 years ago
        I agree. My street is used by Channel 9 staff and parking is very difficult. The road is also narrow, with parking on both sides, and a crest over which it is impossible to see approaching vehicles. Often vehicles need to swing into driveway spaces when confronted with oncoming traffic. I always approach the crest of the hill very carefully, as I fear a head-on collision (thankfully people seem aware of the problem and don't speed). Neigbours have also told me that they find it very difficult to back out of their driveways when cars are parked very close to their driveways and directly opposite. These neighbours are elderly and rely on their vehicles. I have witnessed one neighbour driving along the nature strip and then down his neighbour's driveway to leave his property because he could not exit from his own driveway. I asked the council to put in 2 hour parking, and they surveyed the residents who voted the proposal down. However, I feel that if they had been given options of resident only parking, and a discussion of issues, the vote may have been different. The situation is serious not only from a road safety point of view but also if people require not only visitor parking but visits from community/health service providers, as is our case. I think this issue is a serious one that needs to be addressed by the council.
  • HLamont2 about 8 years ago
    Hi all, I took the kids to see The Grimstones - Hatched in the Concourse Theatre on the weekend. Our first show there...It was excellent, both the space and the show itself, can not reccomend highly enough!
  • GraceLee about 8 years ago
    I am lucky to have chosen Willoughby to establish my home. I like its "green" programs and its recognition and inclusion of multi-cullture. The encouragement of community participation will help to build the community's sense of belonging. The concerns I have are the traffic conjestions and the lack of car parkings.
  • HLamont2 about 8 years ago
    Hi all, I read that someone had raised the issue of a community garden, but I cant find this comment? I'd love to see somethigin like that and woudl be happy to be involved in an iniative. There is a great example now at Balls Head Waverton where they also run some great weekend courses. see link:, just putting it out there...
    • ashamazz about 8 years ago
      Next Saturday 26th November 32 Devonshire St (at rear) Community Garden Open Day 10-noon. Rhonda French 9777 7794
    • ashamazz almost 8 years ago
      I have copied this from the latest email on the Open Day FYI:Some Council land has opened up in the heart of Chatswood. Council is looking for interested people to take over the site.The garden can be expanded into the next property but the design will be upto the community group that takes the project on. The shed on site is secure. There is a commercial size worm farm andaerobin on site. There are also basic bathroom facilities, bike rack, ashaded area, water tanks, pump, hose etc.The open day is on the 26th of November, at 10am.The site is behind 32 Devonshire St, Chatswood, adjacent to Currey Park(behind Albert Av parking station for Chatswood Westfield). If anyone has any questions please contact Rhonda (Community GardensOfficer) on 9777 7794.
  • ashamazz almost 8 years ago
    Community Projects – Council Funding – Participatory BudgetingThe concept of Participatory Budgeting was effectively portrayed this weekend (Fri. 18/11/11 – 7.30pm SBS1) on the TV program Towns with Nicholas Crane - Part 2 – Scarborough, Yorkshire coastal town, UK. The link is below. I suspect that this will be available to watch for one week. I can highly recommend this programme, particularly the five minute segment on Participatory Budgeting in the last ten minutes. I think the Willoughby City Council could take up this concept & the community would benefit greatly. shall outline the segment, for those who are unable to watch the show.Scarborough Council allocates 74,000 pounds per annum to funding for community projects.Each year, residents are eligible to vote on the worthiness of the community projects that request funding. The Council counts the votes & allocates funds according to the votes lodged.This TV segment showed 29 projects asking for approximately 10,000 pounds each. The residents voted 5 (five) for ‘yes I really want to support this project ‘ & 1 (one) for ‘not so keen’. The voting papers were handed out by Council staff after confirming resident eligibility to vote. They numbered each preprinted voting paper & each community project stamped their vote ‘box’ after they had spoken to a resident. This seems to be effective in minimizing bias & fraud. To vote, residents have to show up & talk to the people who are manning each community project.Each project is allocated a display booth in a community hall for the day & evening. They attempted to ‘sell’ their project to the community members, one on one.Projects included scout groups, church groups, tennis clubs, trail motor bike clubs, mountain bike clubs, alcohol outreach, sports clubs. For example, the Trail motor bike track club needed the funds to pay for noise & environmental surveys & reports & planning applicationsComments made in the segment included-Community involvement has been taken to a new level.Community matters hugelyCouncil budgets are allocated by citizensPeople are making choicesDoing it their wayBuilding their own townDemocracy in actionLocal democracyCatching the next big waveTown’s people put in an effortTown’s people reap the rewardsTrying to make a positive differenceGrass roots stuffEveryone has a stake in the success of the projectsInspiring Get involvedCommitmentCommunity spiritIt is a concept that started in Brazil in the 1980’s
    • Kathryn almost 8 years ago
      Hi Ashamazz,Thanks for bringing this program to our attention. I will definitely take a look and will also pass this information onto any other relevant officers.Willoughby Council is already considering undertaking a Participatory Budgeting exercise in 2012/2013 in line with the review of our Willoughby City Strategy and additional consultation we hope to undertake in the area of community assets and infrastructure. This program may indeed give us some further ideas so we appreciate your input!
  • Wayne almost 8 years ago
    Any decision yet from RTA re reinstatement of the 'Left trun at any times with caution' at the junction of Castle Cove Drive and Eastern Valley Way? Thought councillors were discussing this with RTA.
    • Willoughby Admin almost 8 years ago
      Hi WKwok,Council brought this to the attention of the RTA and the RTA has deemed that this intersection does not meet the current requirements for a "Left turn on red permitted after stopping" sign.All signage at a signalised interesction is the responsibility of the RTA so you may wish to follow up with them.
  • GraceLee almost 8 years ago
    Recently I attended the MOSAIC Christmas/New Year Party. The enthusiastic participation of hundreds of attendees from different cultural and languistic background was very encouraging. The community is ONE and we can share and learn happily from each others. I do encourage more of these occasions.