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Collapse Issue 598:<br />08 Jul 2024<br />_____________Issue 598:
08 Jul 2024
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Council cuts $1.44 million from Peninsula capital works
Steady flow of visitors at Bays Art Show
Mary Mac's seeks donations for meal service
Kevin Brooks announces run for council
Nominations sought for community champion awards
Klaas celebrates 90th birthday
Mingaletta to hold Naidoc gathering on Friday
Woy Woy volunteer wins 'rising star' award
CWA branch starts next stage of hall renovation
Woy Woy Rotary club receives bulletin award
Incoming president honours Scottish heritage
Marine Rescue volunteers undertake training exercises*
Reid welcomes 'cost-of-living measures'*
Men's Shed encourages members to new location
Patonga fire brigade boat crew called to assist
Bushcare group seeks new members*
Represented at Bathurst changeover*
Butter cake was demonstrated by cookery officer
Recommended by CWA book club*
Naidoc storytime session to be held at library
Beginners' workshop with craft cutting machine*
CWA branch has lunch in East Gosford*
Group urges residents to ask for more tree planting
Council provides plants for bushcare group
Track from Patonga to Pearl Beach is promoted*
Elders and seniors wellbeing gathering*
Man dies in St Huberts Island house fire*
Level crossing incident
Volunteers wanted on day of festival*
Library hosts Mod Podge Hats workshop*
Mingaletta holds free school holiday program
Wildlife show at Woy Woy library*
Monthly youth yarn-up on Thursday
June rainfall 40 per cent above average
Application for $2.6M beachfront house at Pearl Beach
Residents association holds planning workshop
Seven complying developments approved
Stage two work starts at aged care home
Parking fine despite absence of signs or yellow line
Good news for council election
Reasons why Blackwall Reserve should be saved
'Deferred matters' decision shows lack of good faith*
Replace the deadly Rawson Rd level crossing
Knitted goods and cash donated to Mary Mac's
Visitors asked to wear masks at aged care home
Referral program proves successful recruitment strategy
New bus takes its first excursion*
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Six plays selected for Flash Festival
Enrolments open for term three painting class*
Documentary about Palestinian struggles screened
Woy Woy to lose 'immensely popular' teacher
Woy Woy South plays in basketball gala day*
Girls soccer team win Bill Turner Cup
Students meet Local Member in Canberra
Three-way conferences to replace of interviews
Umina Beach students take part in First Aid course
Futsal team wins State championship*
St John's appoints new parent engagement co-ordinator
School produces digital reports for the first time*
Aboriginal education officer wins cultural award
Year 11 subject selection information evening*
Roosters appear vindicated with 20-year ban on fan
Peninsula Swans had a mud bath
Mixed fours championship play in cold wet wind
Everglades bowls awards night held
Bridge club holds Novice Pairs championship
Southern Spirit seeks grade captains
Three Tour de Central Coast rides involve Woy Woy
Umina surf club members win Central Coast awards
Eagles lose with depleted side*
Joint rubgy league team has first win*
Ocean Beach surf club elects new committee
PCYC offers 'Mini Olympics'
Outrigger club presents awards
Park run is short of volunteers
High-scoring rugby union match for Woy Woy*
Berkeley Vale beat SEU for second time*
Umina surf club elects life member*
Registration opens for winter water polo



Kevin Brooks announces run for council

Bensville resident Mr Kevin Brooks has announced that he will run as a candidate for the September Central Coast Council elections.

Mr Brooks is a regular speaker at the Council's Public Forum, where he made the announcement last Tuesday, June 25.

As in previous speeches, he opposed "excessive rate hikes".

He said the Council's Operational Plan incorporated a 4.8 per cent increase in general rates and 11.9 per cent increase in water rates from July 1.

He said that Council rates (general and water) had now risen 39 per cent in just four years, "yet services continue to go backwards in priority areas".

"Three years ago, Council told the community it must choose between higher rates or worse services.

"We have ended up with both.

"Despite increasing revenue from rates by 39 per cent in four years, priority services continue to decline.

"The average time for determining development applications has more than doubled.

"Water and sewer unplanned service interruptions, mains breaks, and leaks are all increasing.

"Seventeen per cent of our roads get the lowest possible one star AusRAP rating.

"Over 30 per cent of customers surveyed did not think the Council's response was empathetic - a terrible indictment on customer culture and one I can certainly relate to.

"This was not even mentioned last meeting when Council incorrectly claimed it had met an 80 per cent satisfaction target despite averaging less than 80 per cent across all survey questions - one of 28 targets misreported as achieved or on track when in reality they were missed or behind, another illustration of how spin and propaganda has replaced authentic communication.

"Ratepayers are paying more for less because Council has still not addressed underlying problems within the organisation, in management, efficiency, productivity, prioritisation and above all culture.

"Instead, during four years of taxation without representation, an unaccountable bureaucracy has put its own interests above those of the community.

"For too long we, the humble and blameless residents of the Central Coast, have been paying the price for poor leadership, mismanagement, and dysfunction in Central Coast, Gosford, and Wyong Councils.

"A fresh approach is needed.

"But if we want change, it is up to all of us in the community to be the change we want to see.

"That is why tonight, I am announcing my intention to run as a candidate in the September elections.

"And I say to the community, if you are tired of paying too much for too little and want change - then you too can be the change you want to see."

Mr Brooks said that, before emigrating to Australia in 2008, he had spent 11 years in the UK banking industry.

He said he had been an elected member of two UK Councils, one with 55 councillors.

The second time, Mr Brooks was the elected Leader of a 33-member council in Essex (Harlow) and inherited a financial crisis from the previous administration.

Mr Brooks claimed that by the time he stepped down to emigrate to Australia, he had achieved a turnaround in the Council's finances and performance.

Mr Brooks said: "We improved business processes and efficiency, for example through smarter targets and better reporting.

"The biggest thing I learned was the importance of prioritisation in local government, where there is such a wide range of functions, much of it discretionary.

"If you're not careful, you can end up trying to do too much and doing none of it well.

"We consulted the community about priorities and sought to allocate resources accordingly.

"This did mean some tough decisions but, in the end, customer satisfaction improved because we focused on what mattered most to the community."

Mr Brooks said he was a member of the UK Labour Party.

He served as district media spokesperson, district party leader, and council leader.

He said he had not been a member of any political party since emigrating to Australia and was proudly non-partisan.

He said he grew disillusioned with partisan politics and the restrictions party dogmas can impose on free thinking.

Mr Brooks said: "My values have always been those of 19th century social liberal thinkers such as John Stuart Mill.

"These values include economic rationalism, freedom of speech, tolerance, equality of opportunity, scientific progress, democracy and meritocracy.

"These values were once mainstream in Western democracies, but I have never seen them under greater threat whether from autocratic regimes abroad or at times from parties of both left and right within western democracies themselves.

"Neither side of politics within Australian democracy fully embraces these values which is why I am now happy to be non-partisan."

He said he hoped other candidates would follow hia lead and set out their qualifications and experience.

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