As a community it is important for us to have a document that expresses how we want to develop into the future. We also need to define what we want and need as a community now so that we can plan our way forward over the next ten years or so. This document is called a Community Strategic Plan (CSP).
The CSP guides us all in how to achieve these goals and provides a measure of our progress. Developed in collaboration with the community for the community, the CSP is reviewed every four years and is the guiding document for all of Council’s plans and policies.
Although Council takes responsibility for leading the process by developing the CSP, and has a major role in delivering the CSP objectives; the plan belongs to the whole community and everyone has a role to play in moving towards our vision.
This will be our first CSP as MidCoast Council. Gathering community input into the plan began soon after the merger with Council's "What is MidCoast" project and has continued throughout 2017.
During the "What is MidCoast" project, the community developed a vision for MidCoast to strive toward:
The MidCoast is a unique place of environmental significance where our quality of life and sense of community is balanced by sustainable and sensitive development as well as population and economic growth.
Five broad themes have emerged that reflect our community vision. These themes will be used to frame our community's objectives and strategies that will be captured in the CSP.
We value our unique, diverse and culturally rich communities
We are a connected community
We treasure our environment
We have a thriving and growing economy
We have strong leadership and shared vision
Why is a Community Strategic Plan important?
Under legislation, NSW Councils are required to develop a CSP to create a whole of community vision so that council and the community are all working in the same direction. The Plan also provides a way for Council to be accountable to the community and the NSW Government by reporting annually on how implementation is progressing.
From the CSP, council develops a four year Delivery Program that sets out the key strategies that council will use to deliver the CSP over the following years, and then an annual Operational Plan and an annual Budget that gives a much more detailed view of how the Plan will be delivered during that period.
All of the components that make up the CSP framework are informed by meaningfully engaging with the community.
How can I be involved?
Council has been consulting with the community to identify key issues, priorities and aspirations ever since the merger in 2016. Many hundreds of people have been involved in these activities.
There are a number of different ways for you to learn more and have your say including:
- Have Your Say on Council's website
- Contributing to an online blog
- Completing an online survey
- Participating in a Vox Pop at a Council pop up event
- Visiting displays at our Council offices and local libraries
It is important that the CSP 'hits the mark' in reflecting the vision of the whole community. The draft plan is on public exhibition from 8 January 2108 through to 4.30pm on 23 February.
You can view the draft plan and have your say during the exhibition period here.