Speech: Public Participation – Standard Operating Procedures

 

Having a Standard Operating Procedure is one thing, it’s the implementation of the SOP that has always proven a problem – this is one of this governments greatest failures. Your public participation track record is appalling

“Mayco rose above public pressure” means Mayco ignored the public participation process.

Public Participation should be:

  1. Authentic – aimed at informing, educating, having Q&A and repeating it when-ever necessary.
  2. Patient – adequate time should be provided, not just the minimum.
  3. Uniform – predictable for people who have done it before

This precisely because deviation and variance means confusion for ratepayers and disinvestment in the process.

  1. Several Common Public complaints and improvement proposals include:
    • All forms of comments must be recorded, no matter the method used (email, written, verbal, petition)
    • Information supplied is insufficient
    • Information is not user friendly – language is too technical.
    • Questions asked get answered after the deadline – means no time for the public to meet the deadline.
    • Relevant Mayco members and ED’s not present to answer questions – denying the public vital information that would inform their comments / objections before the deadline date.
    • Technology should be used where ever possible:
      • Submission of comments, objections through the City website, facebook page, sms, etc
      • But Individual comments / objections are not replied to – meaning the public concludes it’s a waste of time.
  • There is no transparency in the PP process:
    • Public wants to see who else of the public commented and objected.
    • Public wants a list of Interested and Affected parties and registered individuals to information sharing.
  1. The ACDP’s point is that when PP is not authentic and transparent, the public will increasingly feel ignored, disenfranchised and will disinvest from Council processes

This outcome is already manifesting itself right now given the growing dissatisfaction expressed by many ratepayers and ratepayers bodies around the City.

We trust that this SOP will address these challenges but we doubt it.

 

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