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It’s about listening and openness

Councillors met and discussed issues with residents in Yamba last Friday. Pictured (l-r): A citizen and councillors Novak, Baker, Toms and Clancy. Image: Geoff Helisma
Clarence Valley’s councillors continued their listening ‘tour’ with a two-hour session in Yamba St, Yamba last Friday. Mayor Jim Simmons said people were invited to speak with councillors about any council-related activity. “We had a good response to our first session at Grafton Shoppingworld last week,” he said in a media release. This initiative, by councillors to informally meet with people, dovetails with acting general manager Ashley Lindsay’s statement in the Clarence community news newsletter mailed to ratepayers with their latest rates notices. “There is one area I am keen to start addressing immediately, and that is in the area of openness and accountability,” Mr Lindsay writes. Mr Lindsay also says he thinks that some of the criticism aimed at the council on these issues is “misplaced”, however, he says that there “seems to be a feeling in the community we are not open in our decision making”. “[There is] an equally strong view people would like to be more involved in that decision making. “Those views about openness are shared by councillors and I will do all I can to address them.” Mayor Simmons said: “The feedback we get from the community helps us make better decisions.”