Update: The "no alcohol after 4pm" trail will remain in place until April, after which it will be reviewed. In the meantime, Good For Manly Councillor, Candy Bingham, has initiated a review of the toilet facility stating the current public toilet is a "scary dungeon"
Council resolved to look at options of upgrading and replacing the existing toilets.
East Esplanade Reserve – aka “The Office”. A great spot to have a drink and watch the sun go down, or a park that’s overwhelmed with too many people, too much partying and too much rubbish?
Getting the balance right is the challenge facing Manly Council as it endeavours to accommodate the needs of picnickers – both locals and visitors - and people living near by.
The council’s recent attempt at a compromise - permitting drinking but only until 4pm - has unleashed a storm.
After Good For Manly posted the news, our Facebook site had an extraordinary 21,000+ hits and over 200 comments.
The message was unanimous - 4pm is too early. People said the “Office” crowd was well-behaved and orderly, and many commented they were happy to bring their children along. They suggested sunset, or a bit later, for “last drinks”, and urged the Council to add more garbage bins and improve toilet facilities.
The decision to ban alcohol after 4pm was made by the Council’s Community Safety Committee, and is yet to be ratified by the full Council. It overturns a total ban on alcohol that has been in place at East Esplanade Reserve since 2010.
Despite the ban, the harbourfront park has become enormously popular, especially on Fridays after work and on the weekend.
Good For Manly Cr Candy Bingham said the Council clearly hadn’t got the balance right yet. “Four pm is too early,” she said. “But I think a ban on alcohol after sunset is appropriate because we don’t want people drinking on into the night.
“Rubbish, and its removal, is more of an issue as it’s costing us, the ratepayers, a fortune. Local Police Commander Dave Dacey, has also stated that the recent blitz by police of the area cost $5,000 and such an operation is just not sustainable on a regular basis”.
In addition to no alcohol after sunset, she suggested the Council install more garbage bins and empty them more often. Also for the Council to continue regular patrols by night rangers, who would report any unruly behaviour to police.
Cr Bingham raised the matter at a recent meeting of Council and it was resolved to refer the matter back to the Community Safety Committee with the recommendation the cut-off time be later. (The Committee met on 11/12/14 and decided to maintain the 4pm time, which will be trialled until after the Easter weekend).
In the meantime, following a resolution moved by Clr Bingham, Council will review the public toilet amenity which has been deemed as 'scary' and inadequate.
What would you like to see happen?
Although budgeted at $15.5m, the cost of the new Indoor Swim Centre at the Manly Boy Charlton Swim Centre has reached in excess of $19m, with construction and architectural tenders now confirmed. This represents a cost blow-out of over 20%.
Additionally there is the $1.5m for LM Graham Amenities and $1.3m for the CoGen + Energy Centre for the pools, which have been budgeted for separately.
With the loss of on-site parking, users of the Swim Centr e and Reserve say that parking on Kenneth Road has become a life-threatening activity as Manly Council continues to ignore expert advice and community pleas to fix the problem.
The council created the problem in April by changing parking conditions on Kenneth Rd, next door to the swim centre. It replaced parallel parking on both sides of the road with angle parking on one side. But because parallel parking was retained on the other side, cars exiting angle parking spots have to back out over the centre line creating a hazard for traffic travelling in both directions. Even worse, the angle parking was "nose to kerb", so car drivers were forced to back out blind into fast moving traffic. The changes were introduced as part of the council's controversial $19 M redevelopment of the swim centre, which creates a need for more parking spaces at the same time as taking existing spaces away. They also affect sports groups and dog walkers using LM Graham Reserve next door.
The parking changes have always been opposed by Manly's four independent councillors, including Good For Manly Cr Candy Bingham, on the grounds that they are inappropriate and dangerous for a busy thoroughfare such as Kenneth Rd. They have been joined by angry residents, who have used the Manly Daily to describe the changes as "ridiculous" and "a nightmare".
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has raised concerns with the council several times and, in October, sent a formal letter saying Kenneth Rd did not meet national parking safety standards. RMS senior officer John Begley said parking should only be on one side of Kenneth Rd, effectively making the road wider and reversing safer. The parking should also be changed to 90-degree angle parking, from the existing 30-degree parking arrangement.
Council states it is still in negotiation with the RMS but in the meantime has kept parking on both sides of the street, and maintained its 30-degree parking format. Its only concession has been to change the direction of angle parking, so cars will now park rear to the kerb.
Independent councillor Barbara Aird said that the council’s refusal to fix the parking problem was “unbelievable”. She has been leading the campaign to improve the situation, which she described as “an accident waiting to happen”.
What do you think? Do you use Kenneth Road?
Abandoned boat trailers would be removed from Manly suburban streets under new laws expected to come into force next year.
State Roads Minister Duncan Gay last month announced that boat trailers could be parked in the same spot on local streets for a maximum of three months only. After that the trailers would be removed and impounded.
While the plan comes out of a Working Group focussed on Woollahra and Canada Bay council areas, the boat trailer problem resonates with Manly residents as well.
"Boat trailers are a problem in the streets of Manly and while the Council has tried to limit where they can be parked by restricting parking hours, this has usually just moved the trailers to another street" said Good For Manly Cr Candy Bingham.
"With street parking so precious in our area locals resent trailers taking up valuable spaces. They are ugly, and often don’t even belong to residents in the area,” she said.
But the proposed law also recognises that Sydney is a boaties' paradise and gives space-poor boat owners a helping hand.
Mr Gay said the State Government would invest $5 million to build dedicated off-street boat trailer parking facilities, partnering with interested councils and other businesses.
Other changes would include allowing councils to issue parking permits to residents for their boat trailers as part of a resident parking scheme. However, even trailers with council-issued permits could still be impounded if they hadn't been moved for three months.
The proposed changes are set to be introduced next year, although the legislation may depend on a state Liberal re-election win.
Gone are the days when a visit to the local rubbish tip was a family outing. Dealing with rubbish has become big business, and a major cost to Councils.
Belrose tip has been swallowing our rubbish since 1965. But last month it accepted its final load. That leaves Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre at Ingleside as our only local tip. And at present it can't accept putrescible waste (food, manure or nappies).
The problem has forced the Shore Regional Organisation of Councils - Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah - to send rubbish half way across Sydney to Eastern Creek Landfill.
It's a necessary solution but it comes at a price, with the four combined Councils now set to pay $14 million annually for the next three years for the service.
But by then both Kimbriki and local residents will have a much bigger part to play.
Residents will then be required to separate food waste from other household rubbish and dispose of it in the garden waste (green-lid) garbage bins.
Kimbriki senior project officer Mark Winser says that step alone would cut in half the amount we throw into our general waste (red-lid) bins. It would mean 55,000 tonnes less "rubbish" going to landfill each year.
"We already separate our recyclables. We already separate garden waste. We're asking people to take that next step," Mr Winser said.
It's all part of Too Good to Waste - the regional waste strategy just released for Manly, Mosman, Pittwater and Warringah. The strategy, which treats waste as a resource rather than a liability, aims to increase household recycling rates to 70% by 2021.
Kimbriki will get a major revamp as well. It's been kicked off with a $1.2 million State Government grant for better recycling and resource recovery capabilities at the centre. By 2017 Kimbriki should be able to sort and recover resources from commercial and household waste, as well as being able to process food and garden waste together to make high-grade compost for sale.
That’s a good step in the right direction.
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.