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What do you think Council does well? In which areas can we improve?

by Willoughby Admin, over 7 years ago

  • Willoughby Admin over 7 years ago
    Council provides a diverse range of services to the community. Here is a snap shot of just some of our service areas: - Open Space- Community information- Waste removal and reduction- Traffic and transport management- Sport and recreation facilities- Active and sustainable transport- Libraries and community learning programs- Strategic Planning- Arts and Cultural venues and programs- Footpaths, roads and other urban infrastructure- Aged and Disbaility services- Youth services- Child Care- Ethnic services- Festivals and Events- Town Planning- Compliance (parking, food safety, pets etc)- Sustainability- Community advocacy- Local business and industry- Heritage conservation- Customer ServiceThinking about the services we provide and activities we undertake, what do you think we could do better? Is there anything we do particularly well that you would like to see continue? Or do you feel you don't know enough about our service provision to comment? Is there anything we could do more or less of?
    • pang over 7 years ago
      The Baby Bounce program in Chatswood library offers to take 20 kids each intake, which is very limited. I think we should take about 30 children each intake. I understand that the library staff are doing a great job and are very busy. Can we ask for volunteers who can help out, especially when there are busy days with such programs going on? I'm sure there will be people who like to donate a bit of their time-- even one morning/afternoon or two will be helpful.
    • hup234 over 7 years ago
      Most of the suburbs under the Willoughby Council jurisdiction are nice clean looking places. I would really like to see the maintenance people doing the roads etc actually working as most of the times I drive by they really dont seem to be doing much and this is obviously wasting our taxes. Our street recently had a lot of work done on the power poles and wires. PLEASE can we have them put underground. This would look SO much better and might even save maintenance. Power lines seem to work fine underground in other suburbs of Australia.
    • Wayne over 7 years ago
      The Library branch at Castle Cove is really good. There're lots of people using the library facilities, and if the opening hours could be expanded particularly during weekends that would be fantastic. Also, is the library wifi equiped similar to that of Chatswood"s so that visitors can access internet?
  • 123degrees over 7 years ago
    Willoughby gets a big tick in most areas. However I would like to see more done with waste recycling. You have the frock swap idea happening and I would like to see this extended to swapping more items such as kitchen or garden tools.perhaps we could run a program whereby we could arrange to borrow things form each other instead of buying more stuff. This could work for large items such as mulchers and lawn mowers. maybe a few streets could work together on this via the sustainability street program?
    • Willoughby Admin over 7 years ago
      Hi 123degreesThanks for these suggestions. (A great way to meet your neighbours too....!!)We will pass these ideas onto our sustainability team and let you know the outcome. It would be good to know if anyone else on the panel likes this idea too.....Kathryn
    • Rachel over 7 years ago
      borrowing tools from each other sounds great in principle, but what if the owner needs it and a particularly contrary individual has borrowed it who refuses to return it - or returns it out of juice or worse yet, broken? Where does the liability lie and how likely is the owner to recoup his losses? Managing a 'pool' of such hire equipment could become timeconsuming, and if the borrowers had to end up paying the 'manager', I'm sure the idea would eventually fade out as unworkable.having said that, the idea shouldn't be dismissed entirely, just needs a lot more thought - perhaps a sub-committee??
      • 123degrees over 7 years ago
        Yes i agree that it could be cumbersome to manage the tools but i was thinking along the lines of the sustainabilty street program where each street organises their own "shared" arrangements. For example sustainability street in Artarmon all bought a mulcher together to share ($600) and they all look after it and share up keep costs.It would probably work better on this small scale.
  • RobbieT over 7 years ago
    Congrats to council for a highly efficient waste removal team. The community could use a more frequent general household waste days throughout the year I could suggest. The last one in our area saw piles that took up a large amount of nature strips throughout the council. If they were done with greater frequency, the piles wouldn't be so high.
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    Willoughby Council is the best, in my biased opinion. Maybe better use can be made of all our community centres ie increase the usage rates. I saw recently that exercise classes are being held at the old church Artarmon Rd. The Dougherty Centre looks a bit tired. It needs a modernisation. We could do with more exercise classes at trhe various venues - suited to variying ages, young through to old. The North Sydney Community Centre does it well. We could take a leaf out of their book. Having courses near by encourages us of the public transport systems & walking.
    • Adviser169 over 7 years ago
      May be the Council should take stock of their properties and venues to look for opportunity of consolidation and redevelopment. Is there space to move Mosiac or Dougherty activities to Concourse and rejunvenate these places? etc.
    • 123degrees over 7 years ago
      Yes i agree. the more "free" and easy access classes the better the community health outcomes. If you travel in China you see free Chi Gong in nearly every park every day. Perhaps we could get some residents to lead some free park classes.?
    • Rachel over 7 years ago
      Willoughby Leisure Centre has a gym and classes in the adjacent indoor basketball court. I remember last year some press about the court - that it's not airconditioned and the classes were deadly. I wonder whether this has been addressed yet? I'm a member of the leisure centre - aqua only ... would never join the gym if the hall isn't airconditioned - i know what exercising in heat is like. Not only is it uncomfortable - it truly is deadly!
  • StephenPReid over 7 years ago
    I think it would be very valuable to be able to attach a photo or scanned image to posts in these fora.It would obviously require a programming change to the website, but it would be a minor change.In fact I could do it myself (for free) if the rersources are not otherwise available.
    • Darius over 7 years ago
      Hi StephenPReid,That's a good idea about loading photos and we would like to see any images that you are keen to share with the Panel. Because of copyright reasons and the risk of improper images appearing on the forum we aren't able to make this function available when making a post.However, if you (or anyone else) would like to email me any images I am happy to add them to the photo gallery. darius.turner@willoughby.nsw.gov.au Probably best to keep images under 1mb so they load quickly. Thanks!
  • Yenda over 7 years ago
    I enjoy a lot of the community and council sponsored events each year, including Chinese New Year, the Artarmon Fair, the Willoughby Park wildlife day, the Spring Festival and so on. I have also taken a grandchild to the library book readings (especially enjoyed the one for Chinese New Year) and the pre-schoolers' park rambles. These are great events for the community.I also particularly enjoy the parks in the area. My first home was in an area with very, very few parks. I am pleased to see upgrades in a lot of the parks as well, especially in children's play equipment. It is also good to see that different parks have different characters - there is no sameness about them. Perhaps when funds stretch we could have a park with a water feature for children to play in during summers - those little fountains similar to the ones in the Corso at Manly. I understand there is a park in Ultimo with such a feature and a cafe.Is there still going to be a cafe in the old Walter Burley Griffith Incinerator? It would be pleasant to have a cafe or kiosk attached to one of the parks if it could be viable for the operator.My main disappointment in the area is the commitment to the ''homemakers' mile" in Willoughby along Willoughby Road and Penshurst Street. This doesn't make the place very attractive or interesting for local people. We have to head off to Artarmon or Naremburn/Crows Nest for a pleasant area to wander around.
  • Sharon over 7 years ago
    It would be great to have more exercise and sport related classes for young people especially. It has been great to see the different kinds of dance now available at the youth centre, but I agree with ashamazz- maybe the Dougherty centre could house some of these activities.
  • GeoffP over 7 years ago
    Hi,I think that the surface grinding of dangerous trip steps in the footpaths is a really cost effective idea.There must be a change on management at the works depot somewhere because I rang the works supervisor 2 years ago and he said it was cheaper to dig up the concrete and relay it. At that point I gave up as I was dealing with a bureaucracy.Conceptually therefore there should be more footpaths built as the footpath budget goes further. Can anyone explain how footpaths are prioritised ? A great place to start would be the eastern end of Victoria Ave.If a forum like this gets to the right people it will be a success.
    • Willoughby Admin over 7 years ago
      Hi GeoffP, Thank you for the feedback on the grinding program.Council has a Footpath Missing Links Programme for the construction of new footpaths. The identification of these new footpath locations are generally through community feedback and staff inspections. Construction of these new footpaths is then subjected to a prioritisation process based on need, predicted demand and risk reduction. This process takes into account factors such as proximity to train stations, bus stops, schools, shops and hospitals, and the road hierarchy. The age of local population based on the census data has also been used in the prioritisation.Thanks also for the feedback regarding the eastern end of Victoria Avenue. We can confirm that this location has been included in the Missing Links programme for future construction. If you require further information, please contact Council’s asset group.
  • hlamont over 7 years ago
    Having lived in Willoughby Council area for one year now, we are impressed with the services offered by the Council. Standards of footpaths, waste services, parks and playgrounds etc is much better than other local government areas where we have lived.I also think that the Council's initiatives to engage with its residents in forums such as this is a great way for residents to provide direct feedback.Areas for improvement? - I agree with earlier comment re general household clean up frequency
  • Leila.E over 7 years ago
    I think Willoughby Council does a really great job keeping the Willoughby Park maintained and clean. I would like to see more signage regarding the importance of taking your rubbing with you, and keeping our waterways clean especially in the Tunks Park area. The creek often looks quite forlorn with rubbish floating downstream atop the water.
  • GloriaD over 7 years ago
    I think Willoughby Council does alot of things really well. The Concourse is really a magnificent achievement and certainly has injected a new enthusiasm for participation in the community. The poetry readings of an old Willoughby resident Henry Lawson at Flat Rocks has proven popular for some time now, perhaps that could be expaned upon.
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    Willoughby Council do so many things well. eg libraries, Bushcare,waste management, planning, listeneing to resident input, harmony within a multicultural community. I think that Willoughby Council can share these skills with all other Councils Australia wide. They should outsource their skills & train other councils on 'what to do right'. A bit like franchising. For a fee, we show you how or do it for you. Training workshops, as well as software, regulations, planning.... We take so much for granted in this municipality. Why can't other areas benefit f& improve from our valuable expertise & experience. Another example is fox baiting. There are many areas in NSW & Australia that need to fox bait, but do not think they can afford it. Willoughby Council could do it for them for a fee.
  • cloughnan over 7 years ago
    We love living in the Willoughby area and think there are many great services the council provides such as well maintained parks, waste collection (although would love some more frequent general waste collections) and libraries. It think there is a great sense of community in the area.
  • Larlys over 7 years ago
    Willoughby Council area is a great mulit cutlural place to live. It has lots of open spaces, many parks, sports ovals and community services. Council also provides very good waste management for residents. The area now has a word standard library and now with the opening of the concourse a theatre and concert hall to provide a stage for both local and overseas productions.All this has come at a cost however and the major area needing improvement is traffic management both within the Chatswood CBD and the local feeder streets. Short term parking can also be a problem for persons who have an appointmet at a local doctor or dentist rather than just to go shopping.
    • 123degrees over 7 years ago
      Yes I agree that the traffic into and out of Chatswood CBD is getting silly. I can now ride my bike there and back quicker than i can drive and park. I suggest that there needs to be a more bike friendly approach with more bike lanes and tie up spots for bikers. Perhaps an incentive like 5% off at some local shops or off rates for those on bike?
      • Larlys over 7 years ago
        Bike riding is a great option. It is good for your health and the environment and I agree more could be done to encourage this. Unfortunately not all of us are physically able to take advantage of this mode of transport. When I have heavy or lots of shopping I have no alternative but to drive. Also people with young children need to drive to get to shops. The suburban roads in and out of the Chatswood CBD are far too narrow to take the volume of traffic and something must be done urgently to manage this to avoid accidents and "road rage" either by making some feeder roads one way, allowing parking one one side only, making some roads " no through traffic" and indicating which car has right of way when only one car is able to pass in narrowed areas.
        • 123degrees over 7 years ago
          I have been riding around Holland last June and everyone - old and young ride bikes. They have some clever ways of attaching "trailers"on the back of the bike and I have seen trailers on the front with 2 children strapped in. I agree that the roads are not safe but imagine what it could look like if biking was the number 1 priority. We could have segregated safe bike paths with everyone using them and the cars could be forced to park outside the CBD . Free trolley buses or bikes could be made available at these car park hubs. It happens in Holland and Denmark so no reason why not here. Tackle the health problems too. As the terrain is not flat here i suggest electric bikes which would overcome the problem of hills and for the less able. If you can sit in a chair you can ride one of these.
  • pang over 7 years ago
    The popular Baby Bounce program in Chatswood library offers to take 20 kids each intake, which is very limited. I think we should take about 30 children each intake. I appreciate that the library staff are doing a great job and are very busy. Can we ask for volunteers who can help out, especially when there are busy days with such programs going on? I'm sure there will be people who like to donate a bit of their time-- even only one or two hours in a day, maybe?
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    Willoughby Municipality has excellent community facilities & venues. The community needs to consider the future use of locations that are currently bowling clubs. Often these are on Council land. As these Clubs decline in membership & usage, the community needs to consider thir best future use. eg Child care, sporting facilities, education venues, special needs venues, seniors venues, gymnasiums, comunity gardens. If this is not planned for, these venues become shabby & neglected
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    Willoughby has excellent safe practices & facilities for pedestrians. Footpaths, pedestrian crossings, pedestrain safety areas on roads eg Frenchs Rd, Malls & shopping precincts. I know that Northbridge Plaza carpark has not been upgraded, as the Plaza owners are often considering upgrading the entire area. However it has been far too long that the Northbridge Plaza Car Park traffic flow, pedestrian crossings (there are none), disabled parking places, parking places for parents with children and so on, needs desperately upgrading. The traffic flow in the car park is bizzar. The traffic lights have helped a lot. Pedestrians need to have total right of way in that car park, in order to teach the drivers to be more considerate.
    • Darius over 7 years ago
      Hi ashamazz,Thanks for all of your great feedback. In regards to the Northbridge Plaza car park, a footpath is about to be constructed connecting pedestrians from Harden Avenue into the car park. Council staff are meeting with representatives of the owners of the car Plaza within the next couple of weeks to discuss the future of the car park and possible changes to the existing traffic flow, parking layout and pedestrian facilities.A concept plan is currently being prepared.
      • ashamazz over 7 years ago
        That's great. Thanks Darius. I am pleased to tear that a wlak way will be contructed. Hopefully this will be bicycle friendly too! How do folks access on foot & bicycle from Eastern Valley way? My inital concern that I expressed was mainly from the focus of pedestrains within the car park. Old aged folk, parents with children, people talking on mobile phone & reading their IPhone messages, kids with IPods in their 'ears"... all people who are distarcted in this modern age. They all share the same space on foot as four wheel drive vehicles & old age drivers in that car park. It has always been dangerous. The worst area is the area south of the main entry 'road' ie the centre access route in the car park. The lower/northern area is quieter, but the cars still wixx too fast. Maybe speed bumps will help too. I personally think that pedestrains should have right of way in all car parks. If cars have to slow down for pedestrians, then they will!
    • RobbieT over 7 years ago
      I totally agree and am looking forward to seeing what the solution is for this carpark. It is funny how when folks are in their cars, they think that they have right of way...and then when they are out of their cars and assume the role of pedestrian, then they again have right of way? Is there any ideas/solutions here?
    • 123degrees over 7 years ago
      The car park has a chequered history as the land is owned by council but the plaza has usage rights. The problem with developing it or fixing it up the car park is that the council won't foot the bill and the plaza won't fix it unless they can also develop the site. The last time they tried it they wanted to put in 140 units to "compensate" themselves. This was rejected by the community who suggested that 40 was the appropriate number.I suggest that the council does the development with another partner agency and they can then sell off/rent out their 20 units to cover the costs.This way we get a new flat car park and some badly needed units for residents who want to stay in their community.
  • cloughnan over 7 years ago
    Loved the sculptures during the Willoughby Festival in Bicentennial Reserve recently. Hope this will happen every year
  • ashamazz over 7 years ago
    Willoughby Council through the Willoughby branch library network, facilitates Book Clubs. This is having a positive impact on the community. Artarmon Library has a Book Club for teenagers. There is also a need for centrally located Poetry Writers groups & Writers groups, for amateur writers of all ages. Willoughby area has many halls & of course it’s beautiful, huge, new library space. Chatswood is centrally located to transport links. The many halls spread through the Municipality, are often within easy walking distance. Writing groups need to be varied - under 20 year old, under 30 year old, all age, emerging writers, experienced writers & groups of mixed experience. They need to have varied times – daytime, night time, weekday, weekends (including Sundays). Some groups should be just for poetry, others for mixed genre. A guideline could be that ‘readings are to be restricted to one page’. These activities will embrace multiculturalism, as writing crosses over every culture.The Council could facilitate further by organizing writer’s & poetry festivals or encompassing these themes into existing festivals & communications. The participants could be encouraged to be pro-active in this community involvement. This concept for writers has similarities to concept behind the magnificent Incinerator Art Space. Creative artists & writers are not looking to make money. Of course this helps as a dream or fantasy, but they all realize that it is a very unlikely actuality. They know they are following a passion that will not enable them to give up their day job. Meeting like-minded people, having a hobby that they can be passionate about, getting them out of the house, away from computer games or off the couch – these factors are positive motivators & actively assist a movement towards the wellbeing of community mental health.There seems to be increasing research evidence supporting the theory that journal writing & writing regularly is good for mental health. The movie & book Freedom Writers is fascinating portrayal of this.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Writershttp://www.freedomwriters.com/This year, a friend held two poetry reading evenings, in the Willoughby area. Enterprisingly, he door-knocked in order to find his audience.I recently heard of a poetry group called Westside Writers. I was told that they are sponsored & facilitated by University of Western Sydney. They meet in the Bankstown region. This is a group of talented, young poets who were invited to participate. It is supported by a mentor & critic. It currently has two groups – emerging & intermediate.http://researchoutput.csu.edu.au/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=23391&local_base=GEN01-CSU01The Red Room Company – is a fascinating & very professional body that facilitates poets & writers. http://redroomcompany.org/http://redroomcompany.org/about/I write as a hobby. I can see the value of writing in maintaining a positive outlook on life. There are benefits in getting out & about. I belong to Book Clubs (one is facilitated by Northbridge Library. The other, frequently borrows the Book Club Kits).http://www.weasydney.com.au/http://www.nswwc.org.au/Mind, body & soul needs physical activity (sport & exercise), as well as mental activity. Writing is an activity that makes the brain work hard. Sharing your writing encourages social interaction & helps to improve your writing. Every age group & every culture benefits from this type of activity. Willoughby Municipality can facilitate these mental activities.
  • Mary over 7 years ago
    Re: Proposed Coffee shop at The Incinerator Art SpaceTo: Willoughby CouncilThe council is to be congratulated on the refurbishment of the landmark, Incinerator, Willoughby. It is truly a beautiful and interesting building.As an artist who has accepted using the Incinerator Art Space for an exhibition, I am very interested to know when the proposed coffee shop to be installed above the gallery. It is of concern to me that as a destination for the public to be attracted to I feel it is very necessary to have a coffee shop as it is usual for people to want enjoy the experience of both gallery exhibition and refreshments.I do feel this is an urgent matter if The Incinerator Art Space is to be the success it truly deserves to be.With kind regards,Angela Morrell
  • Eddy over 7 years ago
    Whats been done well? Look no further than the Concourse. What a remarkable achievement. The delivery of such a major piece of community infrastructure, right in the centre of Chatswood.
  • Eddy over 7 years ago
    And an area for improvement? Perhaps run an unbiased survey.I almost fell off my chair when I read Council's poll on supporting an increase in rates for apartment dwellers "to achieve a more equitable rate structure".Taxing the less well off in our community never sounds like an overly equitable thing to do in the first place, but that aside, if the apartment dwellers took up as much space as each house, do you honestly think the following services would cost the same:- provision of open space- waste removal- traffic and transport management- active and sustainable transport- footpath, road and other urban infrastructure maintenance- parking regulationBe a little more equitable with phrasing your poll questions next time, please Willoughby.
    • Kathryn over 7 years ago
      Hi EddyThanks for your observations and also taking the time to complete the survey. We have passed your comments onto the department responsible for collating comments on the survey and survey results.
    • Kathryne over 7 years ago
      I'm not sure it's equitable to make an assumption that apartment dwellers are the "less well off". Also many apartments are owned by investors. Rating based on land valuation instead of service usage doesn't make a lot of sense either and all the services you mentioned are used by everyone regardless of what style of housing they choose. In fact, the enormous investment in the Councourse has to be paid for somehow and currently it's weighted towards house owners who probably don't think that's fair either. The UK "poll tax" did not work and all I can say is really there's no perfect answer, but at least council are looking at different options.
      • Eddy over 7 years ago
        Yes, we use the same libraries and a raft of other services Kathryne, and thats obviously why the Council considers it reasonable to suggest hitting us for more rates.But housing chews up significantly more space per person. So the provision of services mentioned above are much cheaper for Council to provide for apartments.Also, come to think of it, Council receives considerably more section 94 contributions for new apartments than new dwellings - and this goes to infrastructure used by all too. These are one off contributions mind you, but still, theyre making money out of us there too.And well off folk can either afford a house or apartment - and I do take your point about many apartments being investment properties, but the middle to low income folk certainly couldnt afford a house around here (have you seen domain.com lately - its insane!).My main point (and yes, it probably got lost in the opinion) was that Council phrased the survey in a very biased fashion. And that was disappointing.
  • Caroline over 7 years ago
    Willoughby council gets it right most times. It would be great to see weekly garbage collection days to Victor street to Thursday and Monday instead of Fridays and Tuesdays. During the week there is much less garbage thrown out then on weekends. So bins spill over by Tuesdays and bins are half empty on weekdays. Seems a better balance is required.The new library is fantastic as well as the new paving. Its a shame wheelchair access is not directly out the front but only on the West and Eastern entrances. Bit of a push if you are coming from the bus stop out front.The overall feel of the main mall is pretty safe though could be better if the drunks from Mandarin Centre walking up to the station at 1am took the Albert street entrance instead. Can the alcohol vendors have an earlier cutoff?Quarterly clean up is ok though could some details be put on the website for apartment buildings as the info is mainly for houses,Bravo for attempting to make Willoughby smoke-free. The signs outside Westfield are pretty much a waste as most smokers just stand an inch to either side so the difference in air quality is zilch. Also if you cannot smoke within 10m of council buildings can that include post offices too?
  • Sharon over 7 years ago
    I think one of the key things is to make the general population aware of the services that council provides. Often, great services and initiatives go under the radar simply because not enough people know about them. Also, the MOSAIC centre runs a variety of cultural activities, but i am a high school student who would love to learn traditional crafts/activities of different cultural groups, but most of the activities (except for ones during the school holidays) are targeted at an older demographic. Also, timing is not very convenient. Im sure lots of young people would be keen to become involved with cultural activities!
  • GeoffP over 7 years ago
    Hi,I do not use mapping information often but it seems to have been vastly improved sometime in the last 15 months.I am however finding a difficult response when I attempt to use this box :- http://mapping.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/exponare/land-information-maps.htmlI happen to know the future cleanup days are mentioned for my home address but I find the information does not load when I type in my street [ it takes so long to load I give up ]
  • Wayne over 7 years ago
    Am very impressed with Willoughby Council in running our communities in such as diverse and dynamic manner. Area for further improvement could be public transport given particularly the fact that it would probably be the most environmental friendly solution to transport management I suppose.