The Local Government (Planning & Reporting) Amendment Act 2009 amends councils’ charter to include a requirement to engage in long-term strategic planning on behalf of the local community. It also amends the role of a councillor to include a civic leadership responsibility in the preparation of the community strategic plan. Sound civic leadership is underpinned by transparent and accountable decision-making. Councillors demonstrate civic leadership through the provision of responsible, accountable, representative and efficient governance. Councillors exercise civic leadership by encouraging representative community participation through improved communication between the council and its community. Through its civic leadership, Council can positively influence and support the development of future leaders. The following resources are provided to support civic leadership.
Social Justice Principles
Social justice for local government means a commitment to ensuring:
- there is fairness in the distribution of resources (equity)
- rights are recognised and promoted (rights)
- people have fairer access to the economic resources and services essential to meet their basic needs and to improve their quality of life (access)
- people have better opportunities for genuine participation and consultation about decisions affecting their lives (participation).
The following resources will assist councils in applying social justice principles to their community planning, and enhance civic leadership.
- Social and Community Planning and Reporting Manual (DLG) – see Part A3
- Engaging with local Aboriginal communities - A Resource Kit for Local Government in NSW (DLG) – see Part B.
These resources may assist those who are elected representatives of their community (ie councillors) to understand their role in community strategic planning, and to support them in it.
- Councillor Guide (DLG)
- Promoting Better Practice Program - Self-Assessment Checklist: Strategic Planning (DLG)
Collaboration and Partnerships
Working in partnership with others, be they other councils, State agencies, local organisations, industry unions, the business chamber or individual residents enhances the quality of the planning process as well as maximising available resources.