Monday 2 July 2012
“Newcastle Council’s ‘Caring and Inclusive Community’ strategy needs more than lip service”, declares Greens candidate Therese Doyle.
“If Newcastle is to really become a ‘caring and inclusive community’, as promised in the Council’s Strategic Plan, Council will have to lift its game and actively engage with people in the community” Therese Doyle, Ward 2 candidate for the Greens, said today.
“We in the Newcastle Greens see an inclusive city as one where people participate in decision-making about Council proposals and services that affect their lives. Unfortunately, the current Newcastle City Council is better known for its contempt for residents than it is for including them or allowing them to participate in anything more real than a focus group or a survey”, Ms Doyle declared.
“A truly caring and inclusive city must also be an equitable city where the needs of people experiencing economic and social hardship are understood and addressed” Ms Doyle stated. “This means that those least able to afford rates and services pay the least. It means that people living in the least affluent parts of the city have equal access to facilities such as libraries, recreational and cultural activities, community centres and other council services”.
“An inclusive city is a welcoming city that treats all its citizens with respect and caters for diversity in more than just token fashion. The Greens will actively seek out ways to engage those people who often find themselves excluded from the life of the city.” Ms Doyle said.
“To achieve that aim, Council needs to carry out a thorough analysis of community services to identify its current strengths and weaknesses in delivery of those services.
“The Newcastle Greens team for the council elections in September believe that, as the sphere of government closest to the people it serves, Newcastle City Council has a responsibility to ensure that the needs of its community are met. Therefore it is vital that Council oversees the delivery of social services to residents including those, like childcare, that it does not always directly administer”, said Ms Doyle.
“Newcastle Greens want to contribute to a Council that is receptive to its residents, that closely monitors the emerging social, cultural and economic needs of those residents and that responds effectively to those needs.
“For these objectives to be achieved, it is essential that the new council has an organisational culture that is genuinely committed to active citizenship and public participation” Ms Doyle said.
“If Newcastle City Council had a truly democratic, accountable structure we would not have witnessed the terrible disharmony or the lack of transparency that has characterised the current Council” Ms Doyle added.
For more information or comment, contact Therese Doyle on 0434 257 892