1 PLANNING FOR THE COMMUNITY

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1 1 PLANNING FOR THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL S FIRST INTEGRATED STRATEGIC SERVICE PLAN The Leichhardt 10-year Community and Cultural Strategic Service Plan (the Plan) is the first of Leichhardt Council s integrated strategic service plans sitting under Leichhardt 2020+, Council s long-term Community Strategic Plan. Strategic service plans address the many detailed issues affecting the community, and develop long-term shared solutions and strategic priorities that will help to deliver the vision for the Leichhardt LGA of a sustainable and liveable community. The Plan aligns with Council s Community Strategic Plan Leichhardt and supports it to deliver the community goals of: A Leichhardt community that is happy, caring, diverse, healthy, safe, culturally active and innovative, and has a strong sense of belonging and place Easy access promoting the amenity and sustainability of the community A socially, environmentally and economically sustainable and liveable community A sustainable environment created by inspirational /leadership which guides social, environmental and economic activities Thriving businesses and vital sustainable communities built through shared activities and interests Delivery of sustainable services and assets to support the community. As a Council and community plan, the Plan s success will depend on: Council s good governance, effective resourcing, and communication and strong leadership The participation and actions of other tiers of government, residents, business, community groups and local communities Attainment and measurement of outcomes associates with the Plan s strategic objectives and actions. 8 Leichhardt Municipal Council

2 AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO PLANNING A strategic and integrated approach to planning and reporting enables local government to achieve multiple outcomes for the community through cross-council and community planning. The State Government requires local Councils to develop long-term strategic plans and resourcing strategies. These strategic plans set the community s directions for the future. The 10-year strategic service plans, and associated 4-year service delivery plans, will support the Community Strategic Plan, Leichhardt Leichhardt Council s strategic planning framework in shown in Figure 1. DLG Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework Community Strategic Plan - 10 years + Resourcing Strategy -10 years Delivery Program - 4 years Operational Plan Annual Report (includes SoE) Leichhardt Planning framework VISION - Sustainable & Liveable Community Leichhardt Strategic Plan - Foundations Key Service Areas Community Well-being - Accessibility Place where we live and work A Sustainable Environment - Business in the Community Sustainable Service & Area Strategic Service Plans - Shared Solutions Strategic Service Plans & Policies Developing long term shared solutions - community outcomes & service delivery strategies Community Well-being - Accessability - Place where we live and work Community and Cultural Plan - A Sustainable Environment Business in the Community - Sustainable Service & Assets Figure 1. Leichhardt Council planning framework Communit y and Cultural Plan Adopted August

3 INFORMING OTHER PLANS Integrated planning refers to a new approach to planning. It encompasses the State Government s requirement that Councils develop integrated planning and reporting across Council departments. The term can also refer to the practice of researchers, disciplines, communities and professions working together to develop plans that not only improve social outcomes, but also deliver outcomes across a range of other areas including the environment, the economy, transport and arts and culture. As the first of Council s integrated strategic service plans, the Plan must inform other key Council documents about social and cultural priorities, including: Long Term Financial Plan Workforce Management Plan Council s Delivery Program New Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plans Affordable Housing Strategy Asset Management Plan Centres, Corridors and Strategic Sites Review Employment and Economic Development Strategy Environmental Sustainability Strategy Placemaking and Public Art Policy Integrated Transport Study. Adopt a Plot is an example of an integrated program with social, economic and environmental outcomes. The Adopt a Plot program is one where people share their backyards with neighbours who have no access to garden space, so that they can grow and share edible gardens. The program has multiple beneficial outcomes including community connection, sustainability, social cohesion, reduced traffic impacts, improved community safety, health and wellbeing and equitable access to fresh food. Leichhardt Council has a strong history of social planning for its community. During the years 1996 and 2002, Council prepared individual Social Plans for the seven target groups nominated by the Social Planning and Reporting Guidelines (NSW Department of Local Government, 1998): Children (0 11 years of age) Young people (12 24 years of age) Women Older people People with disabilities Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Planning for these seven target groups was combined into a single 5-year Plan, The Leichhardt Social Plan , which also addressed the needs of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer and Transgender community members. However, Council has not planned previously for its arts and cultural life. A Draft Cultural Strategy in 1999 addressed public art and cultural processes. The document was neither adopted nor implemented. Since then, the State Government has issued Cultural Planning Guidelines for local governments, to encourage a more integrated approach to planning. 10 Leichhardt Municipal Council

4 EQUITY + SOCIAL JUSTICE Central to this Plan are the principles of equity and social justice. The challenge for planners at all levels of government is to address inequality associated with differences in income, health, education, crime rates and employment 1 in Australian society. Understanding this, governments develop holistic plans to support the wellbeing of individuals and the community alike 2. For Leichhardt Council this means a commitment to ensuring: Fairness in the distribution of resources Rights are recognised and promoted People have fairer access to the economic resources and services essential to meet their basic needs and to improve their quality of life People s views are valued and listened to in Council deliberations People have better opportunities for genuine participation and consultation about decisions affecting their lives. Challenges for the 21st Century It is remarkable that, at the pinnacle of human material and technical achievement, we find ourselves anxiety-ridden, prone to depression, worried about how others see us, unsure of our friendships, driven to consume and with little or no community life. Lacking the relaxed social contact and emotional satisfaction we all need, we seek comfort in overeating, obsessive shopping and spending, or becoming prey to excessive alcohol, psychoactive medicines and illegal drugs. The contrast between material success and social failure of many rich countries is an important signpost. It suggests that, if we want to gain further improvements in the real quality of life, we need to shift attention from material standard and economic growth to ways of improving the psychological and social well-being of whole societies. 4 1 These indices are commonly referred to as the social indicators of health. 2 A Ziller The role of planning in community building. Thesis submitted in fulfillment of requirements for a degree of Doctor of Philosophy Faculty of Architecture University of Sydney July Source: NSW Social Justice Directions Statement: Supporting People and Strengthening Communities, NSW Government, February Richard Wilkinson and Kate Picket The Spirit Level Why more equal societies do better than others Allen Lane 2009 Londonpp3-4. Communit y and Cultural Plan Adopted August

5 STRENGTHS BASED PLANNING INFORMED BY EVIDENCE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Local governments have a specific role in planning for local communities in a way that builds on community strengths, while responding to the current and future situations predicted by social research. The Plan: Addresses the LGA s opportunities, challenges, gaps and needs from a strengths-based approach rather than focusing on a community s deficits, and Understands the interconnection of spirit and sense of place in integrated community, cultural and sustainable urban planning. The Plan is based on an extensive evidence base including: Leichhardt Demographic Profile Review of the Social Plan Community and Cultural Assets Audit Community Wellbeing Survey Analysis, Key themes and Issues in the Leichhardt Community and Cultural Plan Stage A Discussion Paper 9 Extensive community engagement completed between August and December 2010 (details in Chapter 4). FIVE STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES The Plan identifies five Strategic Objectives for social inclusion, equity, access, creative expression, cultural engagement and community wellbeing: 1. Connecting people to each other 2. Connecting people to place 3. Developing community strengths and capabilities 4. Enlivening the arts and cultural life 5. Promoting health and wellbeing. For each of these five Strategic Objectives the Plan identifies Outcomes and Strategies to achieve the community and cultural aspirations of the Leichhardt community to Actions to address the Outcomes and Strategies identified in this 10-year Plan are articulated in a 4-year Service Delivery Plan. 5 Leichhardt Municipal Council Leichhardt Municipal Council Leichhardt Municipal Council Leichhardt Municipal Council Cred Community Planning Leichhardt Municipal Council

6 IMPLEMENTING THE PLAN Council s role as a facilitator and leader Under the NSW Local Government Act, local government strategic plans must identify and reflect the community s priorities and aspirations for the future. This means that rather than focus only on traditional areas over which Council has a large degree of influence, plans must also give attention to the wider and more complex aspirations of the community, and engage with and respond to major forces driving change. As such, Leichhardt Council s leadership and role as an advocate will be important to build effective relationships with other levels of government, communities, business and service providers to deliver the Plan. The Plan gives attention to new practices and policies that allow it to successfully fulfill the following functions: Community and cultural leadership: implementing good practice models of participation and communication and building positive community relations. This includes effective governance structures that are transparent and accountable Facilitator of partnerships and collaborations: with social and creative groups, community, cultural organisations, different tiers of government, economic development organisation and neighbouring Councils Direct provider: of quality, accessible and equitably utilised community facilities and services Advocate: for essential community and cultural infrastructure, services and facilities that are provided by others Active participant: in building community capacity and strength Facilitator of networks and connections: between people, groups and organisations. Catalyst: for exploration and mobilising human and financial resources to support groups to undertake community and cultural processes Initiator of urban planning policies and plans: that encourage socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable development including housing diversity, accessible and activated public domains such as cultural and knowledge precincts Author of integrated planning documents: enabling social and cultural outcomes to be achieved by integrating community and cultural planning principles within Council s overarching strategic framework. Community and Cultural Plan Adopted August

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