You could be forgiven for not knowing what Manly Council's Manly 2015 Plan currently entails - even the Councillors don't seem to know!
The Plan, which at its core involves the construction of a car park under Manly Oval, seems to change regularly, without any reference to the Councillors. What is the latest plan for the LIbrary - does it stay or does it go? Does the sale of the Whistler Street car park include the area in front where disabled parking currently is? Does the Council own the oval under which the car park is to be built or are they selling a major asset to pay for another asset under Crown Land?
The Combined Precinct Group (representing the 8 active resident precinct groups in Manly) has worked hard to obtain answers from Council and this has been progressing. However at a recent meeting of the Group it became clear that many important questions still had not been answered (see copy of questions below) and therefore the Combined Precinct Group are still unable to support the Oval car park concept.
In the meantime the Council has been busy running further 'information sessions' in the newly named Manly Plaza. The display and concept video were excellent although feedback has been that on many occasions staff present were not able to answer questions. In addition, a Manly2015 Bulletin has also been issued (see copy below) which provides more technical detail.
While the concept of pedestrianising Manly and revitalising the laneways is popular, the real question of whether the high risk components of the oval car park project have been accurately assessed remains a concern. And the question still remains: will locals continue to come to Manly if the parking is less convenient and further away?
You can follow the Manly 2015 Plan issue here
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.