11 July 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Councillor/Sir/Madam

 

You are invited to attend an BUDGET AND OPERATIONS REVIEW COMMITTEE MEETING of Ashfield Council, to be held on Level 6, Civic Centre, 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield on TUESDAY  17 JULY 2012 at 7:30 PM or at the conclusion of the Strategic Planning and Economic Development Comittee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEE ATTACHED AGENDA


 

Budget and Operations Review Committee Meeting - 17 July 2012

 

AGENDA

 

1.               Opening

 

2.               Acknowledgement of Local Indigenous Community

 

3.               Apologies/Request for Leave of Absence

                   

4.               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.

(17/07/2012)

 

5.               Confirmation of Minutes of Council/Committees

 

Budget and Operations Review Committee Meeting - 19/06/2012

 

6.               Staff Reports

 

6.1        RESPONSIBLE ACCOUNTING OFFICER'S MONTHLY REPORT

 

6.2        DRAFT CHARITABLE STREET COLLECTIONS AND STREET STALLS POLICY

 

6.3        2012 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS UPDATE

 

6.4        LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVIEW PANEL

 

 

7.               General Business

 

 

 

8.               Close

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Budget and Operations Review Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 17 July 2012                                                                                                                                BOR6.1

Subject                            RESPONSIBLE ACCOUNTING OFFICER'S MONTHLY REPORT

 

File Ref                            Financial Reporting

 

Prepared by                   Kumar Pathmanathan - Acting Chief Financial Officer       

 

 

Reasons                          To evidence that Council’s budgetary controls are operating and whether any material differences have been identified

 

 


Overview of Report


This is a standard report containing a certification from the Responsible Accounting Officer that the monthly budget review has occurred and to report any material differences.

 

 

Background

Clause 202 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 states:

The responsible accounting officer of a council must:

(a) establish and maintain a system of budgetary control that will enable the council’s actual income and expenditure to be monitored each month and to be compared with the estimate of the council’s income and expenditure, and

(b) if any instance arises where the actual income or expenditure of the council is materially different from its estimated income or expenditure, report the instance to the next meeting of the council.

 

Although the Regulations only require a report if a material difference exists, Council’s Chief Financial Officer has suggested that a monthly report certifying that a budgetary review has occurred would provide Council with a higher degree of confidence that the system of budgetary controls are operating effectively.

 

Certification by the Responsible Accounting Officer:

A comparison of Council’s actual income and expenditure with its estimated income and expenditure for the period 1 May to 31 May 2012 has been performed and there were no material differences to report.

 

 

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications from this report.

 

 

Other Staff Comments

Nil

 

Public Consultation

Nil

 

Conclusion

The monthly budgetary review has been performed and there are no material differences to report.

 

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

There are no supporting documents for this report.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That this report be noted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services

 

 

 

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Budget and Operations Review Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 17 July 2012                                                                                                                                BOR6.2

Subject                            DRAFT CHARITABLE STREET COLLECTIONS AND STREET STALLS POLICY

 

File Ref                            Regulatory

 

Prepared by                   Charles Latimer - Governance Project Officer       

 

 

Reasons                          To advise Council of the Public Exhibition phase for the draft Charitable Collections and Street Stalls policy and to recommend Council adopt the revised policy.

 

 


Overview of Report


The revised Charitable Street Collections and Street Stalls Policy has completed its Public Exhibition period and no additional comments were received through that avenue. Comments were received from Council’s Access Committee and these have either been directly incorporated into the draft or the existing text met the requested additions.

 

 

Background

The attached draft Charitable Street Collections and Street Stalls policy is a reviewed and revised version of an existing Council policy which was twelve years old. The attached document provides: (i) greater clarification in relation to the criteria and definition of charities through properly registered organisations with the NSW Office of Gaming and Racing; (ii) permits Council to charge a fee where circumstances are appropriate such as permits requested by for-profit organisations and third party professional collection agencies (iii) revises the application form with specific indemnity information and the required Privacy declaration.

 

Council’s Access Committee made recommendations for some minor additions to the policy -

(1) The policy should be consistent with the Outdoor Dining & Footpath Trading Policy in terms of protrusions from the shop-front into the footpath; and 

(2) Street stalls should be allowed in the fountain plaza area at Summer Hill Shopping Centre and also outside the Ashfield Civic Centre. Such cases should be subject to approval by Council and the relevant organisation being a registered charity.

 

As far as any new additions are needed, these have been made to the revised draft however some aspects were already encompassed in the existing document (such as approval by Council for charitable fund-raising activities).

 

Financial Implications

N/A

 

Other Staff Comments

Internal consultation has been undertaken.

 

Public Consultation

Public Exhibition Period completed (17 May to 18 June 2012).

 

Conclusion

The revised draft brings the policy up to date with current practice and provides greater clarity for fund-raisers and Council staff.

 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Draft Charitable Street Collections and Street Stalls Policy

7 Pages

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council adopt the Charitable Street Collections and Street Stalls Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services

 

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

Draft Charitable Street Collections and Street Stalls Policy

 








Ashfield Council – Report to Budget and Operations Review Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 17 July 2012                                                                                                                                BOR6.3

Subject                            2012 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS UPDATE

 

File Ref                            Governance>2012 Elections

 

Prepared by                   Gabrielle Rennard - Manager Governance       

 

 

Reasons                          To keep Council informed

 

Objective                         To provide Council with an update on the details regarding the impending Local Government Elections.

 

 


Overview of Report

This report is to provide Council with an update on the details for the impending Local Government Elections to be held on 8 September 2012.  

 

 

Background

This report is to provide Council with an update on the details for the impending Local Government Elections to be held on 8 September.  

 

Mr John Neely has been appointed as Returning Officer for the conduct of the September 2012 election in Ashfield. Ms Renee Chalmers has been appointed as the Office Manager. Office Managers (OMs) are expected to be the Substitute Returning Officer should the need arise and will work alongside their Returning Officer throughout the election as the 2nd in charge. For these reasons, Office Managers have completed the same training as Returning Officers.

 

The Returning Officer has now been issued with their instrument of appointment. The General Manager, Director Corporate and Community Services and Manager Governance recently met with the Returning Officer and Office Manager. Issues discussed included matters in relation to the delivery of election services including the placement of statutory advertisements; candidate nominations; viewing and discussing access, security and storage requirements regarding the pre-polling venue at the Civic Centre. Council staff intend on working more closely with the Returning Officer as the elections near.

 

Returning Officers will officially work from their office from Monday 16 July however the office will not open to the public until Monday 23 July. The Returning Office for Ashfield will be based at Burwood, due to Ashfield considered a region with Burwood and Strathfield Councils. However pre polling will be provided from the Ashfield Civic Centre as of 27 August – 7 September 2012.

 

Following a Council resolution staff wrote to the NSW Electoral Commissioner with suggestions for the allocation of polling booths in the Ashfield Local Government Area, refer to Attachment 1 for the Commissioner’s response.

 

The Division of Local Government issued Circular 12-19 to Councils on 25 June 2012, Attachment 2, of which has been circulated to Councillors. The circular notes that local councils are expected to assume a caretaker role during the election period to ensure that major decisions are not made which would limit the actions of an incoming council. The caretaker period commences on Friday 10 August 2012 and ends on Saturday 8 September 2012.

 

This Circular also notes that Clause 393B of the Local Government (General) Regulation requires that the council, the General Manager or any other delegate of the council (other than a Joint Regional Planning Panel or the Central Sydney Planning Committee) must not exercise the following functions during the four weeks preceding an ordinary election (caretaker period):

§ Entering into any contract or undertaking involving an expenditure or receipt by the council of an amount equal to or greater than $150,000 or 1% of the council’s revenue from rates in the preceding financial year (whichever is the larger).

§ Determining a controversial development application, except where a failure to make such a determination would give rise to a deemed refusal, or such a deemed refusal arose before the commencement of the caretaker period.

§ Appointing or renewing the appointment of the General Manager or terminating their employment.

§ In particular cases these functions may be exercised with the approval of the Minister.

 

The Division of Local Government issued a further Circular 12-20 to Councils on 28 June 2012, refer to Attachment 3 of which outlines the obligations of council officials in relation to the use of council resources and the potential for council publications to be considered ‘electoral material’.  A copy of this circular has been distributed to all Councillors and Senior Council staff. The following provides a brief outline regarding the content of the Circular:-

§ All council officials must use council resources ethically, effectively and carefully. Council officials must not use resources for private purposes unless the use is lawfully authorised and proper payment is made where appropriate.

§ Council resources must also be used in accordance with The Model Code of Conduct

and council policies such as the council’s policy on the payment of expenses and the provision of facilities to mayors and councillors.

§ Misuse of council resources may be a breach of a council’s code of conduct and may result in disciplinary action under its code. It may also result in action by the Division of Local Government and other regulatory agencies, such as the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the NSW Ombudsman.

§ Councils should also be aware that publications that promote the current elected council’s policies or emphasises the achievements of an elected member or group may potentially fall within the definition of “electoral matter” and thereby constitute “electoral material” under clause 356A of the Local Government (General) Regulation. “Electoral material” is subject to certain regulatory requirements during the 40 days preceding the election.

§ Electoral matter broadly includes any matter that is intended or likely to affect voting in an election. The name and likeness of a candidate also fall within the definition of electoral matter.

§ In practical terms, council publications that may be affected include websites, newsletters, media releases, published speeches, brochures on services/facilities, advertisements, letters to residents and newspapers.

 

 

Council staff had further correspondence with the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) on 29 June 2012, refer to Attachment 4. This has been namely to seek further clarification with respect to budget estimates as provided by the NSWEC in May 2012. It is noted that as at the time of writing this report these issues remain outstanding including:-

§ Updated budgeted estimates to cover the full services that need to be provided for the elections including staff for pre polling

§ Further detail on logistics, infrastructure, cost sharing amongst councils forming the region, data management and  what enhancements to the NSWECs systems are peculiar to the local government election.

 

Financial Implications

The total amount currently budgeted for the 2012 election is $225,000. However until Council receives a comprehensive detailed proposed budget schedule that is fully inclusive of all facets of the election, the final scope of the cost is yet to be determined.

 

Other Staff Comments

Not applicable

 

Public Consultation

Not Applicable for this report. However staff have placed information pertaining to the elections on Council’s website and in the Courier newspaper particularly with respect to responsibilities regarding voting, information for candidates and information on how to claim for inclusion on the non-residential roll.

 

Conclusion

It is important that Council understands the undertaking during the caretaker period and the obligations of council officials in relation to the use of council resources and electoral material. This is also the first time that the NSW Local Government Elections have included a regional approach to the provision of election services and this has been assumed by way of hopefully resulting in a cost savings exercise for Councils. It will important for this process to be reviewed post elections.  Meanwhile Council officers will endeavour to work closely with the Returning Officer to ensure a smooth and transparent election process.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

2012 Local Government Elections - Ashfield Polling Places

1 Page

 

Attachment 2View

DLG Circular 25062012 - Caretaker Provisions

2 Pages

 

Attachment 3View

DLG Circular 28062012- Use of Council Resources & Electoral Material

2 Pages

 

Attachment 4View

Letter to NSW Electoral Commission

1 Page

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council receive and note the information contained in this report regarding the Local Government Elections 2012.

 

 

 


Attachment 1

 

2012 Local Government Elections - Ashfield Polling Places

 


Attachment 2

 

DLG Circular 25062012 - Caretaker Provisions

 



Attachment 3

 

DLG Circular 28062012- Use of Council Resouces & Electoral Material

 



Attachment 4

 

Letter to NSW Electoral Commission

 


Ashfield Council – Report to Budget and Operations Review Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 17 July 2012                                                                                                                                BOR6.4

Subject                            LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVIEW PANEL

 

File Ref                            Governance>Local Government

 

Prepared by                   Gabrielle Rennard - Manager Governance       

 

 

Reasons                          To inform the Council of the establishment of a Local Government Review Panel.

 


Overview of Report

To inform the Council of the establishment of a Local Government Review Panel and the recently released discussion paper.

 

 

Background

On 20 March 2012 the Minister for Local Government, Don Page, announced the establishment of a Local Government Review Panel. The Panel has been given 12-14 months to "investigate and identify options for governance models, structural arrangements and voluntary boundary changes for LG in NSW".

 

The Review Panel was appointed in April 2012 and is to be chaired by Professor Graham Sansom the National Director of the Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government (ACELG). Professor Sansom is known to Ashfield Council as he worked with Ashfield staff and councillors in developing our Community Strategic Plan. He is also well known as an advocate for amalgamation in NSW and has presented widely on this issue. The other two

members are Ms Jude Munro AO, a former CEO of four metropolitan councils across three states, including the city of Brisbane; and Mr Glenn Inglis, who has extensive experience as a council general manager in rural and regional NSW.

 

The Panel will spend the next 12 months holding discussions with the widest possible range of people and organisations throughout New South Wales, reviewing and commissioning research, and assessing a range of local government models. The panel is to come up with the best possible framework for local government over the next 20-30 years, to meet the future challenges facing NSW communities. The final report will be presented to the Minister for Local Government in July 2013.

Some of the key issues the Review will explore include:

·          Councils’ ability to support the current and future needs of their communities

·          Councils’ capacity to deliver infrastructure and services in a timely and efficient manner

·          The financial sustainability of local councils

·          The need for effective local representation and decision-making

·          Barriers and incentives for voluntary boundary changes and the scope for increased regional cooperation between councils.

To mark the start of the discussions, the Panel has launched a new website and released a consultation paper for public comment. The consultation paper provides a number of key questions to open the discussion, with an opportunity to respond via an on-line feedback form, email, or written submissions.

Several rounds of consultation are planned, commencing with a month-long “listening tour” from July 23, 2012. The tour includes visits to all regions and meetings in: Broken Hill, Wagga Wagga, Jerilderie, Guyra, Newcastle, Taree, Tamworth, Ballina, Kiama, Orange and Dubbo, as well as several centres across Sydney.

Further information is available on the Independent Local Government Review Panel’s website at www.localgovernmentreview.nsw.gov.au

Financial Implications

N/A

 

Other Staff Comments

N/A

 

Public Consultation

N/A

 

Conclusion

Many in local government have expressed concern both that there was no consultation about the formation of the Panel but perhaps more importantly that the Panel is clearly mandated to re-draw local government boundaries in NSW. This, despite the protestations of the Minister that there will be no forced amalgamations. Linked to the Panel's work will be audits conducted over the next 12 months by the DLG, on the Premier's instruction, of both the financial sustainability and infrastructure position of each Council in NSW.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment 1View

Lcal Government Review - Consultation Paper

20 Pages

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

That the Council note the information contained in this report regarding the establishment of a Local Government Review Panel.

 

 

 

 

 

Nellette Kettle

Director Corporate & Community Services


Attachment 1

 

Lcal Government Review - Consultation Paper