Bendigo council issues on the table

BUDGET priorities, the independent review of the City of Greater Bendigo council and disturbances caused by youths in the streets will be key issues open for discussion at the first of 10 Whipstick ward meetings this year, to be held at the Eaglehawk Town Hall tonight.

Mayor Lisa Ruffell along with her fellow Whipstick ward councillors, Peter Cox and James Williams, are inviting all ward residents to attend the meeting at 7pm in the council chamber.

The councillors will each give a brief report, then open up the meeting to queries from residents.

Cr Cox said recent changes to ward boundaries and a change of council members after last year’s elections meant the priorities of council had changed significantly.

“Now that there are three councillors in the Whipstick ward... residents (will) have greater influence when raising issues. 

“Also, since the elections late last year, the new councillors are making a huge difference and I anticipate that priorities will change in the coming budget.”

Cr Cox said it was important for constituents to have a say where the $150 million worth of works and projects for the 2013-14 financial year would go.

“It is important that residents have input at this early stage,” he said.

“I would like to see people come to the meeting with their ideas. If priorities are not on the table now then they cannot be considered.”

He said the external independent review of council would also be a topic for consideration.

“We will be encouraging everybody to submit their ideas on council services, where improvements can be made and how innovative strategies can be introduced to day to day operation,” he said.

Cr Cox also said the meeting gave residents a chance to raise issues and give feedback to councillors.

“People have expressed concern about young people in the streets during the early hours of the morning causing disturbances so I anticipate that it will be a topic for discussion,” he said.

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