We saw attendance by the public go up by 100% this week - Councillor Helen McCaffrey convinced a fellow Rotarian to attend, so there was Ray and me. It was nice to not be the sole member of the Great Unwashed for once.
I get a lot of value out of these meetings - which only take an hour or so - because you find out a lot of stuff that never makes it into the paper (presumably because it is considered to be too boring or trivial to capture the attention of most readers). I've also found that if you raise a problem, and it's viewed as being legitimate, then it will get attention from both the Police and Council. Things actually get done - it's not a talking shop. Well, actually we talk a lot, but it's useful and productive talk. Pity about the lack of biscuits this time though. I must remember to take a packet of chocolate ones next time.
I'm pleased to say that a few items that went on the table at the start of the year are now bearing fruit. The Police asked for some kit that would assist them in catching crooks, and Council approved funding for it last night. We also suggested that Council take a different approach to removing graffiti (ie, remove it and then tell the owner afterwards, rather than asking permission, providing a quote blah blah blah) and that has made a huge difference to graffiti removal.
The committee also had a look at what was happening in our local parks after dark, and as a result, the Police scheduled a lot more patrols through the problem areas. Arrests have been made and charges laid and as a result, the parks aren't getting torn up this year by people who lack the self control to have a good time without smashing up everything around them.
The meeting this evening was in Concord (it gets moved around Canada Bay each time to give local residents a chance to attend) and on the way home, I spotted three vandalised Energy Australia kiosks (which have all been reported). Just goes to show that if you take your eye off the ball for a few months, things can go to hell in a big hurry.