Read the Mayor’s message for updates on new recreational facilities and libraries, development of the ambitious coastal walkway from Manly to Palm Beach and big picture issues that affect the Northern Beaches.
Our Children’s Centre at Belrose became one of only 17 of the 5,626 services in NSW to receive an Excellence Rating by exceeding all seven quality areas of the National Quality Standards and for its outstanding commitment to inclusion within the community.
Our children’s centres work to nurture, develop and educate our youngest community members. They recently took the opportunity to focus on NAIDOC week and teaching the children about the various aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.
Unfortunately many NAIDOC week activities had to be scaled down this year, but it was great to see everyone finding other ways to recognise the world’s oldest continuous culture.
Another great achievement, we are now officially the Most Sustainable City in NSW after taking out a number of awards at the Keep Australia Beautiful Awards recently. A shout out to Seaforth Primary School who were also winners and Northern Beaches Secondary College Cromer Campus who were finalists at the event.
In more good news, the State Government have allocated funding that will now enable us to carry out the flood mitigation works on Wakehurst Parkway. We are very grateful to them and particularly to our local State Members for Pittwater, Wakehurst and Davidson for their support. We look forward to bringing you more details on this project very soon.
On a final note, I want to wish Wallace Edwards OAM a happy 104th birthday. Wal has lived and worked on the Northern Beaches for decades as well as serving in WW2. Wal continues to contribute to our community, volunteering as the Harbord Diggers Club Welfare Officer for the last 26 years. His advice to us all is to reach out every day to others. In these unprecedented times this seems more important than ever. Happy birthday Wal.
Have a good weekend.
Next Friday we mark White Ribbon Day, and soon after the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
These days are a reminder in the calendar every 12 months of what we should be aware of every single day – that levels of family violence are as high as ever and we all should be doing what we can to help prevent it from happening, and support those in need. We all need to step up to prevent and eliminate domestic violence.
In previous years, we have said no to domestic violence with our community walk, but as with everything in 2020, this year will be a little different.
We are encouraging everyone to pop on a white t-shirt next Friday, take a walk to raise awareness, and then post an image on social media with the hashtag #BeachesSaysNo.
With our local community organisations reporting increases in violence due to COVID isolation, it’s more important than ever for us all to show our solidarity for those experiencing psychological, financial and physical abuse in the home.
And if you do need support, you’ll find all the information you need here. Sometimes that first phone call is the hardest but can really help you consider your options. If you don’t have access to a computer, 1800 RESPECT is a great resource.
Finally, a huge congratulations to Council and our community for being named Keep Australia Beautiful NSW’s Most Sustainable City, a massive recognition for the work being done across our area to enhance and protect our environment.
How’s our finances? I’ve had that question a bit this week thanks to unhelpful media coverage of council budgets, COVID impacts on the bottom line and the financial success or otherwise of amalgamations.
We are transparent with our books and invite the community to have a say when we put our budget and delivery program out for public comment before it’s endorsed each year.
While throwing three different organisations together hasn’t been without challenges, we are on track to more than double the state government’s projected efficiency savings from amalgamation, to reach $161.6m in efficiencies over ten years.
That’s through savings on employee costs, insurance premium reductions, consolidation of legal and IT services and much, Much more.
Those savings give us millions of dollars to invest back in community infrastructure and services, so far funding, among other things, increased cleaning of our public toilets and spaces, new footpaths and longer customer service hours.
Like most organisations we’ve taken a hit thanks to COVID, this financial year to the tune of $12.6million. This includes $6.9 million worth of COVID support packages for local businesses and our community, support we are able to provide thanks to our strong and sustainable long term budget position.
We continue to pay down debt of the previous Councils while ensuring we keep on top of maintenance, as well as close the gap on the backlog so we don’t leave a hole for future generations to grapple with.
How’s our finances? In a good place, with a focus on COVID recovery and an eye on the future needs of our community.
Have a good weekend.
Congratulations to both the Manly Warringah AFL Women’s Premier Division team and the Manly United Women’s Football Premier League team on their success in taking out their respective competitions this season. It’s fantastic to see women’s sport thriving on the Northern Beaches, particularly during what has been a challenging year for teams of all sporting codes.
In other good news, the unused Glen Street Theatre restaurant space is set to get a new life. This week, following a feasibility study, Council decided to put the space out to tender to realise its potential as an incredible new venue. Stay tuned, I’m looking forward to seeing what creative local operators come up with.
Thanks to the introduction of energy efficiency measures and negotiation with power utilities, Council has cut our electricity bill by a quarter in a year, saving rate-payers some $1.71million. That’s not just a win for the bottom line but comes with a 2,000 tonne reduction in carbon emissions. A great outcome.
And finally I’d like to thank everyone who sent me get well messages in the last few weeks after I did myself a serious foot injury. Please be assured I have read and appreciated every one of them. And again, to all the staff at Northern Beaches Hospital, a special thank you!
Have a great weekend.
A big night tonight for all the fantastic bands in the Judges Choice finals of Northern Composure. See Edgecliff, Speaking Of Which and Joker In The Pack battle it out for the top spot at Glen Street Theatre – tickets are limited, book now.
Your elected Council meets on Tuesday night and there is plenty on the agenda of community interest. We’ll be considering community feedback on Warriewood Community Centre, the renaming of areas after inspiring locals, community events grants and a policy which aims to better protect young children.
Great to have some more restrictions eased this week, including gatherings of 30 people now permitted in public spaces and restaurants - we are frantically updating all our signage, again! The NSW government is reminding people to keep vigilant though, the virus is still a threat and it would be truly awful to have to go backwards again.
Although we can’t safely host our usual Christmas and New Year events this year we are going to deliver that festive feeling through decorations, carollers and musicians in our town centres. If you have a small band or carol group, please put in an EOI so you can be a part of it.
Have a great weekend!
October is NSW Small Business Month and we are celebrating the incredible contribution of the 33,000 businesses across the Northern Beaches, 98% of which are small business.
2020 has been particularly hard on our local small businesses and at Council, we’ve provided support through fee waivers, short term parking provisions and outdoor dining extensions and links to available funding and advice.
All of us can do our bit to support the local economy by shopping, dining and booking local wherever we can.
A call out this week too, during Carers Week, to the many carers in our area who make a difference to the lives of so many every day. Over 2.6million people in Australia care for another person, making an incredible contribution to our communities and the national economy. Our thanks to you for all that you do.
Have a great weekend.
This month is Mental Health Month. Your Council has many events planned to help the community 'Tune In' to their mental health, social and emotional wellbeing. Can I encourage you to jump onto the website and find activities or webinars that might help you or someone you know.
Last weekend we got a taste of what summer is going to present this year - lots of locals and visitors hitting our beaches to cool off under strange but real COVID -19 conditions. Our lifeguards and the police were out counting and talking to people, and I'm pleased to say that pretty much everyone stuck to the rules. As such, we didn't have to close any beaches due to capacity problems. Thank you for playing your part.
Predicting the bigger crowds, Council staff arranged additional bins, collections and cleaning at hotspots. And boy were they used - we shifted an unprecedented 39 tonnes of garbage over that weekend, amounting to 15 more tonnes of waste at beaches and public places, compared to the same holiday weekend last year.
Council will continue to roster extra teams and services on and be proactive in this space. Like you, we don't want backed-up litter bins spoiling our beaches and parks.
And if you were out enjoying the fantastic weather last weekend and missed the Manly Jazz Online, you can still tune in and enjoy recordings of some 35 bands via our website.
Have a great weekend.
As the weather warms up and people flock to our extraordinary part of the world, we again face the challenge of managing our beaches in a way that ensures we keep the risk of COVID-19 low.
I want to reassure you we have a comprehensive plan in place which takes into account the safe capacity of each beach. Our lifeguards and rangers will be actively reminding people about social distancing and gathering sizes, working closely with NSW Police. How great would it be if they were supported by a group of friendly local volunteers?
This week, in the spirit of 20 years since the triumph of Sydney Olympic volunteering, Council resolved to call for volunteer COVID Safety Ambassadors to help us on beaches and public spaces across the summer. If you are interested, learn more and pop in an expression of interest, we’d love to have you on board.
Now don’t forget this long weekend to stay COVID-safe when out and about; stay 1.5m apart, gatherings of less than 20 and stay home if you feel unwell. We must all play our part in the right spirit.
And speaking of incredible volunteer contributions, the brand new Mona Vale Surf Club is a step closer with a call for tenders endorsed by Council this week. This much-needed facility has seen three stages of public consultation and will be an incredible asset for both lifesavers and the community for many years to come.
Finally, innovative solutions for waste was also on Council’s agenda this week. I’m looking forward to exploring what more we can do to encourage increased recycling of soft plastics, e-waste and old clothing.
Have a great long weekend.
This week I joined the NSW Premier to launch the state government’s COVID summer safety plan which aligns nicely with the summer action plan we released last week for the Northern Beaches.
It is great that we are all on the same page with our intention to keep beaches, parks and other public spaces open through the summer. Importantly, empowering our community to play their part.
On our part we’ll be looking at increased cleansing, beach safety marshals, and additional flagged areas to help disperse people across beaches. Signage and an escalating response should our public spaces reach capacity is also a part of the plan.
Empowering our community means we are relying on you to do your bit. People in outdoor spaces like the beach are being asked to be in groups of less than 20, and be a towel length apart (1.5m) from other groups. That’s not much to ask, and who wants to be any closer on a hot day anyway? Also, if you do get to the beach or park and it looks really busy, maybe consider going elsewhere. Or try early morning or late afternoon when we know there are less people about. Just a thought.
We all love summer on the Northern Beaches so please work with us to keep our favourite spaces open for all to enjoy. Oh, and remember, the Lifeguards and the Lifesavers focus needs to on the water to keep us safe. So let’s all play our part to keep the beaches open.
Finally, if you are still looking for something to keep the kids entertained in the holidays, we still have a few spaces available in our vacation care programs.
Have a great weekend
In case you missed it we recently won grant funding for an idea to close some streets to traffic to support our businesses and provide more public space for our community.
Cafes and other businesses have restricted numbers indoors thanks to COVID-19 so the plan is to provide more space for them outside and extend the pedestrian traffic onto the road. Over the next few months selected streets in Mona Vale, Newport and Dee Why will see some weekend street closures to provide this opportunity.
We’re also looking at closing Tania Park to traffic for limited periods on Sundays to allow more recreational use of this great space. Stay tuned for dates and more details.
You don’t have to be a history buff to love looking at old photos of our area and hearing from the people who lived and worked here at another time.
Mona Vale’s football team from the 1950s, a paddle steamer at Manly Wharf, the outfits on Palm Beach in the 1930s or Dee Why Post Office circa 1915, plus over 27,000 other historical photos, oral histories, maps and even theatre programs can be found on our new online History Hub.
Get exploring! We’d also love to hear from you if you have information to add to any of the material you find on the site or would like to donate to our collection.
Have a great weekend.