The transformation of the lane ways in Melbourne is a model for Manly and needs to be done here. I spent two days recently meeting with Urban Planners and Senior Managers from the Victorian Government & Melbourne Council on how they did it, and it isn't a big budget expense.
Part of the charm of the lane ways is that the facilities simply 'appear' each day - they are not fixtures. This enables the lane ways to still operate for services in the early morning but also provides life to an otherwise dead space during the day and in the evenings.
Manly's ready for small cosy wine bars, funky coffee shops and unique goods for sale in our lane ways. What do you think?
Image courtesy of Channel 7 News.
It was concerning to read recently that Manly Cove has become the rubbish tip of Sydney Harbour. Rubbish from as far away as Bondi and Roseville is being found in the waters offshore.
Currents in Sydney Harbour collect debris and bring it to Manly, especially when a southerly hits. Recent storms highlighted the problem with Manly Cove thick with debris and rubbish knee-deep on the beaches. Parking tickets from the Eastern Suburbs were found amongst the accumulated mess, providing clear evidence of the problem.
According to Silke Stuckenbrock, local Narrabeen resident and co-founder of the Two Hands Project, people need to change their thinking about plastics and where they end up. “Plastic stays around for centuries. We have noticed that every mammal that gets washed up dead on to the shore has plastic in its system – it’s a very serious problem”, she says.
What do you think we can do to keep Manly clean?
Go to http://www.twohandsproject.org/ to find out how you can help.
Manly Council's decision to put on hold their controversial $85million 2015 Plan until the next council election in September is a good move.
The car park under the oval idea in particular has not proved popular with the estimated cost of $40m and a limited number of additional car parking spaces provided once the Whistler Street car park is demolished as part of the Plan, has no local support according to our research.
The idea of activating some of the old lane ways and plaza spaces, however, should go ahead. What do you think?
Treasurer Mike Baird, our local member, has come through with some solid funding for projects relevant to the Northern Beaches in the State budget released yesterday. These include:
The decision by Manly Council this week to retain the two hour free parking in the Manly CBD carparks was simply a farce! If you want to completely kill Manly, take away the free parking.
The real question that should be explored is what benefit would Manly gain if three hours free parking was introduced, just like the competing shopping areas nearby.
Yes, Manly is unique. It is not just shops. It's also beaches, schools, classes, community activities, a social meeting place. And locals are staying away in droves because it's just getting too hard to visit, and park in Manly. Two hours is simply not long enough.Those who do park here are constantly looking at their watches to make sure they don't go over the two hours!
Council's figures show that 80% of people who use the car parks stay for two hours. Yes, $1.2m is generated by the 3rd hour but I wonder how much business is being lost because people are rushing back to move their car rather than ordering that extra coffee, popping into a shop or calling into the newsagent for example.
What do you think? Is it time to review our parking approach in Manly?
Would three hours free parking encourage you to come back to Manly? Do our Poll. Add your comment.
Should Manly ratepayers subsidise child care to the tune of $500,000 pa for 125 families using our facilities? This is a question being asked as the cost of providing such facilities seem to be spiraling out of control.
Local families may be faced with fee increases from $6 - $14,000 per year per child depending upon how many days they use the facility.
Proposed increased fees by Council have been agitated by new federal initiatives in staff pay increases and child-to-teacher ratios which, while highly desirable, are making child care costs unsustainable and impossible for many families. What do you think should be done?
Stop Press:Council voted unanimously against the increase at last night's meeting (4/6/12). It was stated that the proposal was just one of many that were suggested at a brainstorming meeting to find ways to raise additional funds and yet although it hadn't been voted on by Councillors somehow appeared in the draft budget. Why? It was also revealed that such a move would have raised about $350,000. But what would have happened to our Village? Empty shops and no-one using the parking stations in Manly I suspect while Warringah Mall benefits. An ill conceived idea that should never have seen the light of day.
Background to story 23 May 2012:
Residents and local businesses are alarmed by the Council’s proposal to remove the 2 hour free parking period in the four parking stations in Manly’s CBD. This proposal is part of the Council’s draft budget for 2012-13 hidden on page 255 of the 288 page Community Strategic Plan. The changes would include:
· $1 fee for the first hour
· $2 fee for the second hour
· Increase in night charges after 7pm to $16 for 3 hours
The Chamber of Commerce, who were not consulted on the proposed changes, has urged the council to scrap the plan due to the potentially disastrous affect it could have on local businesses. Currently, the majority of vehicles using the car parks stay for less than 2 hours. It has been suggested that an increase in fees would prompt shoppers and diners to go elsewhere.
These carparks were funded by commercial levies on local businesses. Does the council therefore have the right to start charging for something that has already been paid for?
This proposal could be the final nail in the coffin for our Village shopping area.
What impact would such a change have on you? Will it change your behaviour in visiting Manly?
Please leave your comment below so that we can include in a submission to council.
UPDATE: 25/5/12 ....Mayor Jean Hay announces that two hour free parking to remain. Question has to be asked: How did this fundamentally important matter get into the draft budget, on her watch, in the first place?
Hold onto your parking ticket - it's not over yet! Manly Daily reported (May 26) that Manly Council is NOW considering a scheme that would require people to get a voucher from local shop to entitle them to 2 hours free parking. Oh brother! Why can't the Council, and the Mayor, get it? If you want Manly Village to survive (let alone thrive) we must compete with other local shopping areas that provide 3 hours free parking, no proof of purchase, no vouchers or bar-code scans, just free parking.
What's happening with the Far West Children's site? Checking the Department of Planning’s website today, there is still the notice “Proponent Reviewing Submissions”. It is now seven months since the close of submissions. Why is it taking so long?
** PUBLIC MEETING TO BE HELD ON MONDAY 28 November 12 at the Manly Community Centre, Wentworth Street. 6pm - 7.30pm. Come along and express your views.
BREAKING NEWS: 16/11/11
At the Council meeting on 14th November, Councillor Hugh Burns raised the interesting matter that the Far West Plan is proposing to convert existing Department of Education facilities for commercial purposes even though the Manly Village Public School nearby is crying out for more playground area and classrooms. It has been reported that the Village School currently has an extensive waiting list and is squeezed for space for existing students.
Should the Department be part of a scheme to profit from this valuable parcel of land or should the redevelopment proposal be reviewed with the view to adding extended public school facilities which could also be accessed by clients of the Far West?
UPDATE: In response to community concerns, the Department of Planning has extended the deadline for submissions until November 30, 2011
UPDATE: 27/10/11... It is a concern that the community has only just become aware of the importance, impact and various issues, the new development proposal will have on Manly.
Given this, it would be reasonable for The Department of Planning to extend its current November 4 deadline for submissions, particularly as it's not until November 2 that the Far West is having an open day for the community on these proposals.
Stated to be the largest construction project ever seen in Manly, the redevelopment of the Royal Far West site on South Steyne and Wentworth Street, if done right, offers some exciting opportunities for the revitalisation of this important part of Manly's beachfront.
The revised concept includes four buildings of up to nine stories incorporating 22,000 sqm of health, residential and commercial development. The proposal also includes a hotel complex of up to 164 rooms and a further 32 residential units.
(After concerns were raised about more intensive development of the site the Council recently completed a masterplan for the property which allowed for construction of up to six storeys on the beachfront and eight storeys in the middle of the block)
The proposal is the only project remaining on the northern beaches that will be considered under the State Government’s controversial Part 3A planning laws. The Planning Assessment Commission is expected to make the final determination on the plans which are on public exhibition until 4th November both at the Planning Department's information centre, or Manly Council Chambers. Documents can also be viewed under major projects a the Department's Website.
The incorporation of a hotel on the site would seem a good idea and would provide much needed additional quality accommodation in the area for international tourists.
What are you thoughts on the Plan?
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor, Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations & community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.