VC: GR

 

14 March 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Councillor/Sir/Madam

 

You are invited to attend an COMMUNITY SERVICES COMMITTEE of Ashfield Council, to be held at the Haberfield Library, 78 Dalhousie Street, Haberfield on TUESDAY  22 MARCH 2011 at 6:30 PM or at the conclusion of the Budget and Operations Review Committee.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

VANESSA CHAN

General Manager

 

 

 

 

SEE ATTACHED AGENDA


 

Community Services Committee - 22 March 2011

 

AGENDA

 

1.                      Opening

 

2.                      Acknowledgement of Local Indigenous Community

 

3.                      Apologies/Request for Leave of Absence

                   

4.                      Condolence and Sympathy Motions

 

5.                      Moment of Private Contemplation

 

6.                      Disclosures Of Interest

 

Disclosures to be made by any Councillors who have a pecuniary / non-pecuniary interest in respect of matters that are before Council at this meeting.

(22/03/2011)

 

7.                      Confirmation of Minutes of Council/Committees

 

Nil

 

8.                      Staff Reports

 

8.1        Community Services update

 

8.2        Policy Directions in the Community Services Sector

 

8.3        Annual Community Grants 2010-2011

 

 

9.                      General Business

 

 

 

10.                  Close

 

 

 


document6

Ashfield Council

 

Community Services Committee - 22 March 2011

 

 

8         Summary of  Staff Reports

 

8.1         Community Services update. Gerard Howard - Manager Community Services. Report submitted with attachment 1.

(10/03/11)                                                                       Community Services - Activities

                          H:\REPORTS.BP\COMMITTEES\REPORTS\CSC220311SR_3.doc

                                                                                                               CSC 8.1 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the information contained in the report and Attachment 1 be received and noted.

 

8.2         Policy Directions in the Community Services Sector. Gerard Howard - Manager Community Services. Report submitted.

(08/03/11)                                                                       Community Services - Activities

                          H:\REPORTS.BP\COMMITTEES\REPORTS\CSC220311SR_1.doc

                                                                                                               CSC 8.2 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/2         That the information in this report be received and noted.

 

2/2         That the Committee determine any Motions for Council consideration in relation to the National General Assembly of Local Government.

 

8.3         Annual Community Grants 2010-2011. Gerard Howard - Manager Community Services. Report submitted with attachment 1.

(08/03/11)                                                                                    Financial-Council Grants

                          H:\REPORTS.BP\COMMITTEES\REPORTS\CSC220311SR_2.doc

                                                                                                               CSC 8.3 Attached

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/2         That Council adopt the recommendations for 2010-2011 Annual                   Community Grants as outlined in Attachment 1.

 

2/2         That a separate sub-category be established in Council’s Annual Community Grants budget for the amount of $5,000 for environmental      initiatives and this sub-category be funded from Council’s Environmental Levy.

 

  

 

 

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Community Services Committee held on Tuesday 22 March 2011

CSC8.1

Subject                            COMMUNITY SERVICES UPDATE

 

File Ref                            Community Services - Activities

 

Prepared by                   Gerard Howard - Manager Community Services       

 

 

Reasons                          To ensure Council’s programs are relevant and responsive to community needs.

 

Objective                         To update the Committee on Community Services

                                      Department’s programs/initiatives to date

 

 


Overview of Report


Community Services Department endeavours to ensure the social well-being of people in the area by the development of community services and facilities whose focus is to bring people into a network of supportive relationships in their community. This report provides an overview of key programs which demonstrate Council’s commitment to:

      - Children & Families

      - Young People

      - The Elderly & People with Disabilities

      - Health & Well being

      - Arts & Cultural Life

      - Community Capacity Building

      - Community Harmony

 

 

Background

The Community Services Update report, included here as Attachment 1, seeks to keep Council informed about key ongoing program initiatives relating to the social well-being of the local population. The programs by and large respond to recommendations within Council’s 2010 Social Plan and complement the draft Community Strategic Plan 2020.

 

 

Financial Implications

No financial implications beyond existing budget allocations.

 

 

Other Staff Comments

Relevant Community Services staff have contributed to this report.

 

 

Public Consultation

N/A

 

 

Conclusion

 

Continual feedback from the community, including from Council’s own Community Services Committee is essential to ensure programs remain relevant and responsive to local community needs. It is hoped this report not only provides useful information but an opportunity for critical reflection and feedback.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Community Services Update

22 Pages

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the information contained in the report and Attachment 1 be received and noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Community Services Update

 























Ashfield Council – Report to Community Services Committee held on Tuesday 22 March 2011

CSC8.2

Subject                            POLICY DIRECTIONS IN THE COMMUNITY SERVICES SECTOR

 

File Ref                            Community Services - Activities

 

Prepared by                   Gerard Howard - Manager Community Services       

 

 

Reasons                          To identify key government policy directions in the community services area & their likely impact.

 

Objective                         For the committee to consider any implications of the policy trends and make recommendations to the upcoming National Local Government Conference

 

 


Overview of Report


The report seeks to provide an overview of some current social policy trends at a National, State and Local level which have relevance to the community of Ashfield Municipality.

 

 

Background

What of some current broad policy trends in the Community Services field that are likely to impact on the Ashfield local government area?

 

National Rental Affordability Scheme

The Federal Government has recently reversed its planned wind back of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). This scheme is considered by the community services sector to be an essential part of the solution to relieving the affordable housing crises. It has been noted that over the past two decades, house prices have risen by 400 per cent, whilst incomes have risen by only 120 per cent. Ashfield has not been exempted from this push towards higher housing costs. Whilst further research is required to know what the impact of the NRAS will be locally, initial reaction to the Scheme within the broad community services sector is positive. Council may wish to consider receiving a future report on innovative approaches to affordable housing, including seniors housing and supportive living options for people with disabilities.

 

Nurses Pay in Aged Care

The Ashfield Municipality has many nursing homes and aged care facilities. Ongoing interaction between the wider community, including schools & churches, and these facilities is a feature of our local social fabric. Many local residents will have relatives or friends who reside in these facilities. Therefore the issue of quality of care, as well as the fair and just treatment of staff working in these facilities, is of relevance to the Ashfield community as a whole.

The Productivity Commission is currently preparing a report on Caring for Older Australians and has released a draft version. This draft has received a negative response from State and Federal Nursing Associations.

"A failure to recommend any substantial changes to the care received by elderly residents' means the Productivity Commission has not upheld the key objectives of the report. Australians who rely on the aged care sector should be very concerned," said ANF federal secretary Lee Thomas.

"There is a failure to recognise that minimum care hours are vital for the delivery of quality care. The report fails to recognise that staffing levels and skills mix are integral to improving care for older Australians, many of whom are experiencing more complex health needs. There is a failure to recommend licensing of all workers in the sector despite the main aim of licensing being protection of the public."

"While there is mention of competitive wages, the report pays only scant regard to this issue. Wage disparity has led to a staffing crisis. Ignoring this issue means the problem of attracting nurses and assistants in nursing to aged care will continue long into the future."

 

Health Care

In February this year the Commonwealth and all State and Territory Governments reached a new agreement on national health reform. All Governments signed a Heads of Agreement on National Health Reform and a revised National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services. The Commonwealth Government maintains that this will deliver an extra investment of $19.8 billion.

 

A NCOSS briefing paper has noted that the Commonwealth guarantees to contribute no less than $16.4 billion in efficient growth funding for public hospital services to the States from 2014-15 to 2019-20. The Commonwealth will also fund $3.4 billion under the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services, and will bring forward $200 million in incentive payments. For NSW, this means about $26 million in 2010/11 and $40 million in 2011/12 for emergency departments and elective surgery.

 

It would seem that the overwhelming concentration of funding within the national health reform will go towards the hospital system & very little emphasis/funding is concentrated in areas of health promotion, illness prevention and early intervention. ACOSS has noted that there are also glaring omissions in the areas of mental health & accessible oral health services.

 

Additional funding for the hospital system and for local GP services will no doubt benefit the residents of Ashfield Municipality, particularly with major health facilities such as Concord Hospital and RPA hospital in the region. However the “reform” in health also represents a major missed opportunity to re-prioritise the health of the community away from a crisis, medical model, to one focused on prevention of ill-health and disease. As a result, Croydon Health Centre, Croydon Living Skills (mental health service), the proposed Ashfield Early Childhood Health service hub and the Area Health Promotion programs are vital early intervention programs likely to by by-passed in this latest Government initiative.

 

Multicultural Agenda

Australia's new multicultural policy was launched by the government on 16 February 2011.

The policy states that “it is about embracing and benefiting from the strength of our different cultural traditions. It responds to our cultural diversity and aims to strengthen social cohesion.”

 

The policy responds to recommendations from the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council. Whilst many of the principles contained in the new multicultural policy do potentially have relevance for Ashfield LGA, it is not immediately obvious how in a practical way they will do so. For example the government supports the recommendation of the Advisory Council that “English language courses, employment skills training & other programs to support migrants to settle quickly be well resourced.” However there is no evidence at this stage that such a sentiment will be matched with additional resources.

 

Home and Community Care (HACC)

The Council of Australian Governments has confirmed reforms to the HACC program and funding arrangements for older people, people with disability and carers. HACC as a joint Commonwealth/state special purpose payment will cease on 30 June 2011. From 1 July 2011, Commonwealth will pay for all HACC services for eligible people aged over 65 years and Aboriginal people aged 50+ years.

 

Ashfield Council receives a salary subsidy under the HACC funding program for our Community Worker, Aged and Disability Services. The Local Government & Shires Association, in reference to the upcoming NSW election has identified the need to:

 

“Guarantee continuing Local Government management of Home and Community Care (for those councils presently involved) in the transfer of control from the NSW Government to the Australian Government. A guarantee of improved local service levels in all areas is also sought.”

 

Employment

The 2010 Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) Poverty report noted that across Australia part-time employees increased from 19 per cent of the labour force to 29 percent between 1987 and 2010. Between 1990 and 2007, the proportion of casual employees rose from 19 per cent to 25 per cent. This obviously affects all communities including the Ashfield local government area. It has the potential to impact particularly on the young, new migrants and unskilled workers. The Ashfield Youth Committee may want to look at the casualisation of the workforce issue as it is a matter that is likely to affect future generations in Ashfield.

 

Equal Pay Case

Council has previously called on the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to support the Australian Services Union’s Equal Pay case. Council has been concerned about pay discrepancies and the fact that funding to the Social and Community Services sector should be increased. This pay case vitally affects the nation’s community sector employees, the majority of whom are women. It impacts on areas of work such as personal care, youth work, family support, women’s services, tenancy services, migrant services, disability services, home and community care and many other areas. Suffice to say it will impact on the Ashfield community through the various non-government agencies that service the residents of the Municipality.

 

Mental Health

A NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS) briefing paper on the National Health Reforms has noted that all Governments commit to reforms in mental health over the next three years, although there is no detail about the nature of these reforms.

 

NSW Disability Services

On 3 December 2010, the Premier of NSW announced $2 billion of funding for the second phase of Stronger Together 2011-2016. The government contends that this will mean people in NSW will have access to more than 47,000 new disability service places over the next five years. It asserts that this will double the size of the existing disability services system making it easier for families to access critical services like respite, therapy and supported accommodation.

Alcohol consumption and the ‘Last Drinks Campaign’.

A seeming inability or unwillingness to regulate alcohol advertising and the alcohol industry generally, poses a real threat to the social fabric of our community, both locally and nationally. It results in enormous social costs to individuals, families and society. It amounts to significant financial costs to the community and ties up important hospital and health resources that could otherwise be used to deal with other health issues. At a local level we see the Exodus Foundation trying to campaign against alcohol labelling, perhaps because it sees at close quarters the human cost of alcohol abuse. Commenting on reports issued by the Foundation, the Rev. Bill Crews has stated:

 

“These reports make it clear that there must be a change in public policy regarding alcohol consumption and gambling. Our findings clearly show that the status quo will only result in more lives being destroyed.”

 

The NSW Nurses Association has joined forces with other emergency service organisations to launch the Last Drinks campaign, which calls on the NSW Government to introduce alcohol trading restrictions such as lockouts and reduced trading hours to help put an end to nurses, doctors, police and paramedics becoming the victims of alcohol-related abuse.

Ashfield Municipality has numerous outlets for the selling and consumption of alcohol & thus the issue is very relevant at a local level. The Local Government & Shires Association is supporting the introduction of new restrictions on the sale of alcohol at pubs and clubs across NSW as proposed in the Last Drinks campaign.

 

Other State & Commonwealth Issues

Carers

Council’s 2010 Social Plan has noted that many older people take on caring responsibilities. As people age, couples, friends and neighbours often assume mutual caring roles for one another. According to a NCOSS publication, of approximately 275,000 carers in NSW providing support to people with severe or profound disability, 60,000 carers are aged 65 and over and 24,000 are aged over 75. In 2003, there were 22,500 Australian families in which grandparents were guardians of their grandchildren. This is a growing population group who face a vast array of issues including loss of retirement, lack of income support, decreased health outcomes, and anxiety associated with ageing and ongoing care responsibilities.

Councils Community Services staff will be making every effort to ensure that Carer support agencies & Carers groups conduct their programs within the new Ashfield Civic Centre.

 

Dementia

The number of Australians with dementia will grow to almost 1 million by 2050. Council’s Social Plan notes the average rate of moderate to severe dementia amongst Australians aged 85 and over is one in four. About half of people with moderate to severe dementia live in the community either in their own homes, or in the home of their carer. The other half live in aged care residential facilities.

 

The term 'younger onset dementia' refers to people aged under 65 years. Estimates indicate that 3-5% of people diagnosed with dementia are in this age group and this is projected to increase.

 

Individuals, families and neighbours within the Ashfield local government area can expect to be impacted by the increasing prevalence of people experiencing dementia.

 

Housing, the elderly and low incomes

At the time of the 2010 Social Plan there were 4, 355 people living in the Ashfield LGA receiving the Age Pension, which was approximately 60% of residents over the age of 60 years (Centrelink Pensions 2009 Qtr 4).

 

According to the NSW Council of Social Services, the number of low income older people (aged 65-79) and low income frail aged people (aged 80 years plus) on an aged pension in the rental market and in housing stress, is predicted to increase by 36% from 47,000 people in 2004 to 64,000 in 2014. Approximately 40% of all residents in the Ashfield LGA live in rented accommodation compared to 28% of home ownership. The figures indicate growing housing stress in the Ashfield area identifying older people as a particularly vulnerable low income population group.

 

Disability and Cultural Diversity

Council’s Community Worker for Aged & Disability Services advises that the National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA) is the national peak organisation representing the rights and interests of people from non-English speaking background (NESB) with disability, their families and carers throughout Australia.  ‘The latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this week confirms what NEDA has been evidencing for years, the rate of disability of migrants from non English speaking countries is at times more than double the average rate of disability’. The figures indicate an Australian average rate of disability of 18.9 per cent, however for people born in Italy and Greece, the rate is 45.5 and 45.7 per cent respectively.’ These sorts of findings have significant implications for the Inner West and our population. Our existing programs reflect this cultural diversity and support the existing needs - often indirectly with flow-on benefits.

 

Local Area Council Planning

Council’s adopted Social Plan 2010 made some introductory remarks, outlined below, that essentially relate to key policy directions in the Community Services area and the likely impact on residents of the Ashfield Municipality. Because these are in the process of being acted upon, they can be said to represent immediate policy directions.

 

On Ashfield Civic Centre:

“The redeveloped Ashfield Civic Centre will have new community meeting spaces, a larger library, a family centre hub and improved entertainment and performance facilities in the Town Hall. These improvements enhance the potential for delivering needed community programs in Ashfield based on equity and access. They require a planned response & therefore this is a clear strategic priority for Council staff.”

 

On Volunteering:

“Two prominent features of the local population are the high proportion of residents from a culturally & linguistically diverse background and an ageing population. Both these features lend themselves to the great potential to develop a strong and vibrant volunteer sector in the LGA. Our consultations have suggested that migrants see volunteering as a way of contributing to the community but also as an important pathway to future employment.

 

For those residents in their retirement, volunteering provides an opportunity to contribute their skills, experience and wisdom and stay connected to their community. Council therefore needs to develop a role in fostering the desire and potential of those people who want to volunteer.”

 

On Arts, Culture & Recreation the Social Plan states:

“Residents have expressed a clear preference for further enhancement of arts, culture and recreational activities in the Municipality. This is evident in wishes for improvements to public domains, installation of public art, a desire to establish community gardens & requests to assist the most disadvantaged members of our community. A Recreation Plan for the Municipality therefore is a clear strategic priority.

 

The new Civic Centre will be a landmark building in the Town Centre and offers great opportunities for the provision of arts, cultural & recreational programs. In this way Council will enable the community to express its fundamental character and aspirations.”

 

On Older people and access the Social Plan states:

“There are 11 842 people over the age of 50 (29.9%), 7 235 (18.3%) of these people are over the age of 60 and 1 085 (2.7%) are aged 85 and over as people become increasing frail they are more likely to report a need for assistance. In the Ashfield area 5.5% of people reported that they have a need for assistance with core activities in day to day living including self-care, body movement, or communication, because of a disability, long-term health condition, or old age.

 

In light of these statistics, Council is in a key position to respond to social justice principles outlined by the State Government, including:

·    Reducing disadvantage: promoting equitable access to universal benefits and more intensive investment for those at risk or experiencing social exclusion.

 

·    Increasing social, civil & economic participation: helping everyone get the skills & support the need so they can work & connect with the community even during hard times.

 

Council can respond by ensuring our public domains are accessible and linked; that our housing is adaptable to residents changing needs and that our new Civic Centre and other facilities maximize social and civil participation.”

 

On a proposed Youth Centre:

“A new Youth Centre is due to open in Ashfield in early 2011. The final design details and operational model of the centre will be critical to its success. Council staff must work closely with Council’s Youth Committee and other stakeholders to ensure that this key community facility best responds to the needs and aspirations of our young people.”

 

Land Use Planning

Council's town planning controls are being reviewed to help ensure Ashfield remains a sustainable and vibrant place to live, work and play. The review process involves preparing a new Local Environmental Plan (LEP), which will apply to the whole Ashfield Council area. It is essential that social justice goals relating to provision of open space, community safety, health of the community, affordable housing, accessible and appealing public domains & the creation & maintenance of community facilities be referenced in such a crucial planning instrument.

 

Other issues of relevance to this report which have been identified by the LG&SA for the upcoming State Election include:

·    Provide a $20 million enhancement to NSW recurrent funding for those councils presently involved in prevention and early intervention services for children.

 

·    Create a Local Government arts and cultural development fund, with a key objective being to improve arts infrastructure outside the Sydney CBD.

 

·    Provide a $10 million increase to NSW recurrent funding for those councils presently involved in preventative health initiatives.

 

·    Set new requirements for Government strategic planning to address social justice or social inclusion.

 

The National General Assembly of Local Government

The National General Assembly of Local Government is to be held between 19th and 22nd June, 2011, in Canberra. The theme for the Assembly is Growing with our Community – Partnership, Place and Position.

 

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is calling for motions under the three major themes:

·    Partnership

·    Place

·    Position

To be eligible for inclusion in the National General Assembly business papers, motions must:

·    Fall under one of the themes

·    Be relevant to the work of local government nationally; and

·    Complement or build on the policy objectives of state or territory associations.

 

The Committee may wish to consider any relevant motions concerning Community Services which could be put to the Assembly. Are there partnerships between the Commonwealth Government and Ashfield Council that can be considered Does living in the Inner West have particular issues regarding Place, for example, provision of affordable housing for all? Can Ashfield Council position itself with other Inner West Councils to assert greater influence on the Commonwealth Government? What key issue might be relevant in this regard eg additional employment & training opportunities funded by the Commonwealth?

 

The March meeting of Council’s Access Committee recommended that Council consider a motion for the Assembly to the effect that Universal Housing Design principles be applied to all new residential housing and public buildings.

 

The ALGA website – www.alga.asn.au – has a link to the discussion paper on this matter “Growing with our Community – Place, Position & Partnership.”

 

 

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications beyond existing budget allocations

 

Other Staff Comments

N/A

 

Public Consultation

N/A

 

Conclusion

The Ashfield Municipality’s social and cultural diversity make it a community that can be widely impacted by government policy directions and changes. Council needs to be aware of these key policies and their likely impact locally.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/2    That the information in this report be received and noted.

 

2/2    That the Committee determine any Motions for Council consideration in relation to the National General Assembly of Local Government.

 

 

 

 

 

Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services


Ashfield Council – Report to Community Services Committee held on Tuesday 22 March 2011

CSC8.3

Subject                            ANNUAL COMMUNITY GRANTS 2010-2011

 

File Ref                            Financial-Council Grants

 

Prepared by                   Gerard Howard - Manager Community Services       

 

 

Reasons                          To provide Council with information regarding applications received under the Annual Community Grants Program.

 

Objective                         To recommend an equitable distribution of Council’s Annual Community Grants 2010-1011

 

 


Overview of Report

Council makes annual funds available under its Community Grants Program for local non-profit community groups for community services, community development, community cultural development, social welfare & other community purposes. Most grants are for one-off projects & are not continuing grants.

 

Council’s Annual Community Grants are an opportunity to provide tangible assistance to local community projects, many of which have few reliable avenues for raising much needed funding. Included are projects helping our elderly stay involved and connected with the broader community, initiatives which encourage and foster positive behaviour in the young & programs supporting critical roles such as caring or parenting.

 

 

Background

This year forty three (43) applications were received requesting a total of $99,317 under the Annual Community Grants Program. The amount available for distribution is $39,848. Whilst not every project is recommended for funding; most are proposed to receive some assistance. A schedule of the applications received along with funding recommendations is contained in Attachment 1.

 

Objectives of Council’s Annual Community Grants program are as follows:

 

·    To encourage the development of services that meet major community needs.

·    To promote the active participation of local people in community initiatives and the development of their skills, knowledge and opportunities.

 

·    To provide funding that takes into account the need for equality of access to services and the need to target particular groups that are under-serviced.

·    To ensure the focus of services is to bring people into a network of supportive relationships.

 

Guidelines for the grants which are provided to applicant organisations include:

 

·    Applications should address Council’s Community Grants Program Objectives.

·    The services of the proposed project must be directed primarily towards the residents of Ashfield.

·    The proposed project should not duplicate other existing adequate services in Ashfield.

·    Unless specifically targeted, an application should demonstrate that the applicant’s services are available in the community without discrimination on the basis of race, gender or religion.

·    An application must include a copy of the organisations latest audited financial statement.  Where an organisation is not subject to audit requirements, a statement of income and expenditure over the previous twelve months must be provided.

·    An organisation applying for the first time should attach a copy of its Constitution or Statement of Aims and Objectives. If a group has been in existence for a number of years and are not Incorporated, they should seek to have their application auspiced by an Incorporated Association.

·    Applications should be for a specific purpose and should not be intended to cover a shortfall in the organisations operational budget.

·    The successful applicant must submit a report to Council with an evaluation of the funded project and proof of expenditure within twelve months of receipt of a Council grant.

·    An organisation with substantial unallocated resources will not be considered a priority for funding.

·    The grants provided by Council are to be expended on projects outlined in the applications and should not lead to organisation or groups becoming dependent on Council for future allocation of funds.

 

Grants will not be made for:

 

·    Money already spent or project already undertaken;

·    Recurrent salary costs or contributions to salary costs of existing staff of the organisations;

·    Party political purposes.

 

Applications for Council’s grants generally close towards the end of the calendar year. The Community Services Manager then finalises a report and recommendations for Council consideration.

 

Disability support programs are strongly represented in the applications this year. The Special Olympics Sydney Inner West and the FRANS Independence Program for adolescents with an intellectual disability are two such proposals which are recommended for support. Well represented also are various funded and voluntary initiatives, assisting the elderly members of the community. These provide useful social and recreational opportunities for our elderly & have been doing so for a long time. Individuals who convene these groups no doubt dedicate many voluntary hours of work to assist their fellow community members.

 

Our culturally diverse community is represented by various proposals, even though numerically significant population groups such as Greeks and Filipinos have not submitted applications.

 

Where projects are only part funded, Council’s officers will look at other ways the proposals can be supported either ‘in-kind’ or through joint partnerships with existing Council programs. Various projects receive support from Council via the provision of meeting spaces at no cost. This assistance from Council is greatly appreciated and recognised by community organisations.

 

Local playgroups perform a vital role in early childhood development as well as provide important support for parents & it is encouraging that some applications from local groups have been received including Fathers playgroup conducted on a regular basis by the Infants Home.

 

This year some applications with a focus on youth were submitted including First Aid training and a program at a local high school aiming to reinforce & affirming positive values Funding such initiatives should provide constructive opportunities for local teenagers.

 

This round of funding has seen three proposals submitted which have a particular focus on environmental issues. These include proposals from the Inner West Environment Group, Ashfield Community Gardeners and the LEAD group. Each of these has been recommended for some funds. Additionally, after liaison with Council’s Sustainability Team Leader, it is also intended that the recommended amounts will be matched through contributions from Council’s Sustainability budget. However it is proposed that in future funding years a separate funding sub-category be established in Council’s Annual Community Grants budget for such environmental initiatives and this sub-category be funded through Council’s Environmental Levy.

 

Ashfield Municipality has an increasing number of people living alone and the proportion is much higher that for the Inner West region generally. By bringing people into networks of supportive relationships at a local level, many of the projects recommended for funding in Attachment 1, will directly or indirectly respond in a positive way to this upward trend.

 

 

Financial Implications

No financial implications beyond Council’s existing budget allocation.

 

 

Other Staff Comments

Team Leader - Sustainability      

 

Following discussions with the Manager Community Services and after reviewing the grant applications, the Sustainability Team have determined that these applications fit within the goals of the Sustainability Teams Program and as such agreed that some funds from within the Teams budget could be used to co-fund these great initiatives from this round of grants.

 

Given the increase in applications with an environmental focus, it is appropriate that Council consider allocating some of the Environmental Levy funds for the 2011-12 financial year toward the next round of the community grants in order to create an environmental initiative sub category. After reviewing the Community Grant Program and the other Environmental Levy programs proposed for 2011-12 we would suggest an amount of $5,000 from the Environmental Levy be allocated in this way. 

 

 

Public Consultation

The grant applications are an ‘expression of need’ from the local community and as such represent a form of consultation.

 

 

Conclusion

The total amount available from the Annual Community Grants program for distribution is $39,848 however this amount is enhanced with an additional Council ‘in kind’ contribution, as Council provides access to community facilities to many of the Annual Community Grants applicants.

 

Council staff will continue to liaise with a range of community development programs active in the Municipality, such as those outlined in this report. Contact still needs further development with particular sectors to determine their needs and provide assistance where feasible. In this context, local playgroups and local group home providers are two areas where further outreach can be undertaken. Overall, Council staff will maintain close consultation with social welfare services with the Municipality. 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Community Grants 2010 - 2011

7 Pages

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

1/2    That Council adopt the recommendations for 2010-2011 Annual           Community Grants as outlined in Attachment 1.

 

2/2    That a separate sub-category be established in Council’s Annual           Community Grants budget for the amount of $5,000 for environmental           initiatives and this sub-category be funded from Council’s     Environmental           Levy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services


Attachment 1

 

Community Grants 2010 - 2011