Community Strategic Plan is Council’s most important plan

Ms Julie Vaughan

Council has released the findings of the second round of engagement to develop the Coast’s first combined Community Strategic Plan (CSP), with 91 per cent of survey respondents saying they had ‘good’, ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ quality of life.

Connected Communities Director, Ms Julie Vaughan, said Phase Two of the project drilled down into the findings of the initial community engagement, where Council received over 33,000 ideas and opinions from residents about what would make the Central Coast an even better place to live.

“Phase Two was about going back to the community to unpack the key themes we defined in Phase One, looking at community priorities, community values and how the community feels about their quality of life here on the Coast,” Ms Vaughan said. “Quality of life appears to trend marginally upwards with age and be impacted by certain socio-economic factors, such as the location of residence, employment status, level of education and homeownership, all important factors when looking at how we shape the future of the Central Coast.

“Lifestyle and community, including attributes such as safety, sense of community and opportunities to participate in community life, were the key drivers of quality of life. “Transport and movement around the Central Coast were two of the top issues identified by residents as a priority issue over the next 10 years, with the natural environment, infrastructure, population growth, employment opportunities and housing also rating highly.

“A key focus of the CSP will be to consider and balance the importance of both key priority issues as well as the key drivers of quality of life,” she said. During Phase Two, Council engaged with over 1,200 local community members and key stakeholders via a comprehensive telephone survey, a series of six community workshops and meetings with the Community Reference Group.

Mayor Jane Smith said the process to develop the Coast’s first ever Community Strategic Plan had engaged many thousands of people in the local community and, once completed, will be a true representation of what our community think, feel, want and value. “The central focus for the CSP engagement has been on genuine and meaningful dialogue” Mayor Smith said. “Council have strived to work together across organisations, groups and the broader community to understand community values, issues and aspirations for the future. “The Community Strategic Plan is the most important plan we have at Council, as it defines and prioritises exactly what our community want.

“It sets our vision for the next 10 years and is the community blueprint for all other plans within Council. “The insights and outcomes from our Phase One and Phase Two Reports will form the Draft Community Strategic Plan which will be going on exhibition to the community in April for one last look over before adoption by Council in June 2018.” Overall, 7,400 people participated to help shape the future of the Coast. Over 3,100 people had face-to-face engagement activities, and over 3,300 hard copy, online and telephone surveys were completed. There were 6,100 visits to the Help Shape the Future of the Coast page on Your Voice our Coast. In total over 36,000 ideas and comments were collected during the CSP engagement.

Source: Media release, Mar 23 Central Coast Council media