You would be forgiven for thinking that TCorp (part of NSW Treasury) had given the Manly 2015 Plan the tick of approval - after all, all of Manly Council's promotional materials, including their Fact Sheet, brochure and 2015 website stated: "Manly2015 has been independently assessed by KPMG and TCorp" .... not so!
Thanks to the hard work of the Good For Manly team, Council has now had to withdraw this statement and when asked is stating: "TCorp did not independently examine any of the business cases or financial assumptions of the individual projects". But that's just the beginning.
Recently a meeting of all eight resident Precincts Executives on 19th August, 2013, resolved: "The precincts are opposed to Manly 2015 Masterplan in its current format and they want Council to:
1. Explore other options for the car park and library redevelopment
2. Include all major prospective developments, including Royal Far West, Manly Hospital & Manly Village Public School projects to fall within a more comprehensive Manly Masterplan.
The Precincts expressed concern about the major technical, environmental and economic risks associated with the proposed car park as well as the potential for a serious negative impact on the future rates of Manly residents relocating the Whistler Street car park to under Manly oval.
The movement against the car park under the Oval is growing despite Mayor Jean Hay's assurances that all proper processes will be followed.
Good for Manly's financial experts have found that the budget figures for Manly2015 are flawed. For more on this, watch the quick video below:
LATEST UPDATE - 26/9/13. Justice Biscoe of the NSW Land & Environment Court has reserved judgment to consider arguments from the Save Little Manly Beach Foreshore group and Manly Council before making a ruling in this matter.
Thanks goes to the efforts of barristers Ingrid King and Justin Doyle and solicitor Bruce Woolf in representing the local residents to ensure that this vital matter of public interest was heard by the court. Also to the Save Little Manly Beach Foreshore group who have been fighting this issue tirelessly since Mayor Jean Hay's decision to sell in December 2012.
It all started in December 2012 when the Mayor, Jean Hay, moved a Mayoral Minute that the Council-owned foreshore land at Little Manly Beach, 34 & 36 Stuart Street be sold to cover the cost of buying No 40 Stuart Street.
The land to be sold has been owned by Council by more than 40 years, and zoned 'open space'. It forms part of the public space at Little Manly Beach and No 34 in particular, is used extensively as dingy and boat storage.
A group of residents have got together to challenge the Council's sale of this land claiming it is 'community' land and can not be sold without consultation. The case is listed for 24 & 25th September 2013 in the Land & Environment Court. For a brief understanding of what the case is about - view the short video below.
Great coverage on Channel 10 news on September 19, 2013 about the issue.
Locals were concerned when our community cinema closed recently, and rumours were flying around Manly as to what had happened.
According to the owner, Graeme Edwards-Kroot for some time now they have tried to renegotiate their lease at Manly Cinemas to help ease the financial pressure of them needing to upgrade to digital projectors*.
The decision was made by the landlord for them to cease trading at Manly Cinemas until all the issues are resolved.
For more than 75 years there has been a cinema screening movies at 45 East Esplanade, Manly and Graeme says he is confident that a resolution will be found.
*By the end of this year, new movies will no longer be released in Australia on 35mm film, as it is replaced by digital film. Due to this, there is a real need for them to purchase and install expensive digital projectors.
Over time, many of Manly’s scenic viewing areas have lost their views due to overgrown vegetation.
There are many examples along the Manly Scenic Walkway including the above at Tania Park, Dobroyd Point; North Harbour and Fairy Bower Point where overgrown vegetation (some of which has been planted by Council) has now grown to such an extent that views are either lost or greatly obscured.
While it is appreciated that some of these official viewing areas fall within the responsibility of the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, Good For Manly has put forward an idea that an audit be done of the current public viewing areas to ascertain what maintenance, if any, needs to be done.
What do you think? Should vegetation be allowed to grow to such an extent that public viewing areas no longer have views?
Update: At the Council meeting on Monday 9/9/13, following major protests by dog owners, a five month 'cooling-off' period was agreed to and a working party is to be established to address this issue.
It's been an ongoing issue for years - the users of the playing fields vs dog owners at LMGraham Reserve at Fairlight.
Following ongoing complaints about dog poo on the fields and kids getting covered in it during matches, the Council has stepped in to create a designated area for dogs by fencing off an area in the Reserve for dogs.
Council’s planned area will be bounded along Kenneth Road and measures 130mtrs x 20mtrs. = 2,600 square metres for dog off leash area as a dog designated exercise area. See map below.
The new fencing will cost $25,000 and contractors are expected to get working next week erecting it. Included in the area will be a tap for dogs water, a bin for the bags, and a park bench seat under the trees will be installed.
Other off-leash dog areas in Manly are at: Seaforth Oval, Tania Park, North Harbour Reserve, Manly Cemetery and Manly Lagoon Park
Expect to see more police on bikes around Manly soon as the New Northern Beaches Local Area Command moves into action. Good wins for Manly include a 34 strong beach unit based here to target alcohol-related violence and crime.
While the main Command will be based at Dee Why there will be more police in specialist and general duties based in Manly.
It is expected the Manly Police Station, which is currently undergoing an $5m renovation, will be operating again within the next 18 months. In the meantime, the Station in Sydney Road will remain fully functional.
The decision that the Manly Station will be the custody station for the Northern Beaches with overnight cells for holding offenders is welcomed news. (At the moment offenders have to be taken to the city, escorted by two police officers).
Local Area Commander, Dave Dacy, has undertaken to review the new arrangements, which are expected to take effect in early November, after six months to ensure that the Manly community believe the policing needs of the area are being met.
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.