Community Working Group - Terms of Reference

Thank you to everyone who sent in an Expression of Interest to join the Community Working Group. This group has been created and started meeting.

Purpose

The Community Working Group (the Group) has been established by Byron Shire Council to help inform and guide the preparation of the Dogs in Public Spaces Strategy. This Strategy will set out the vision, themes and actions for the management of dogs in public spaces across the Shire.

Membership

The Group will seek to represent a wide span of community interests. This includes:

  • dog owners and non-dog owners
  • business people including tourism operators and food outlets
  • neighbourhood and residents' groups
  • vets and animal welfare groups
  • environmental protection authorities and interest groups
  • sporting groups and general users of parklands and exercise spaces
  • people with a disability and any special interest groups
  • the elderly and young people

The Group consists of 15 community members made up of representatives from different localities across the Shire and reflecting the diverse interests in the issue. Members live in the Shire. Council used an expression of interest process to appoint members to the Group.

Role

The Group will work closely with Council staff and the project consultants, Locale Consulting, to provide meaningful, representative input and feedback on key policy issues about the management of dogs in public spaces. This includes exploring:

  • changes to the existing conditions for off-leash areas
  • whether there is a need for new dog exclusion zones, off-leash areas or enclosed dog parks
  • the suitability of existing dog exercise areas and associated infrastructure such as signage and bins
  • how Council can encourage and promote responsible dog ownership

The Group will be advisory only and will not have a decision-making role.

Format

The Group will meet four times during the project duration as follows:

No. Purpose of meeting Format Date and time
1 Providing an overview of the project.
Getting to know each other.
Explaining the roles, responsibilities & involvement in the Group in the project.
Online - Zoom Monday 29 November 2021
6pm to 8pm
2

Co-designing elements of the face to face drop-in sessions for the project.

Online - Zoom Monday 31 January 2022
6pm to 8pm
3

Gaining early input from the Group into the vision, themes and actions into the draft Strategy.

In-person
Location: TBC

Saturday 19 February 2022
Time: TBC

4

Seeking feedback from the Group on the emerging vision, themes and actions for the draft Strategy before the formal exhibition.

In-person
Location: TBC

Monday 14 March 2022
6pm-8pm


Guidelines for participation

All members must follow Council's core values of positivity, respect and openness.

It is acknowledged that members are likely to have different views about the issues and will be passionate about the topic. Along with this passion, we also ask that members:

  • bring an open mind and willingness to listen to other people's viewpoints
  • respect Council staff, councillors and others in our community during engagement activities
  • be polite and courteous
  • talk to the issue, not the person
  • take time to find common ground
  • think about ideas and solutions which meet all community needs
  • stay curious and positive

Members are expected to attend each meeting and are encouraged to discuss the project and issues with other community members. Any conflicts of interest must be disclosed to Council and appropriately managed.

Indicative project timeline

Below is the indicative project timeline. This may change subject to any COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time of any planned events:

  • October 2021 - Establishment of Community Working Group
  • November / December 2021- Online survey to gain feedback from the wider community
  • November 2021- Online meeting of Group
  • January 2022 - Online meeting of Group
  • February 2022 - Face to face drop-in sessions across the Shire and in-person workshop with Group
  • March 2022 -In-person workshop with Group
  • April 2022 - Exhibition of draft Strategy for wider public comment and further community engagement

Council's role

Council staff will provide relevant administrative support to the Group.

Before each meeting, Council will distribute agendas and any background information or materials. After the meeting, Council will circulate the minutes.

The key contact at Council will be:

Kathie Anderson
PES Administration Officer
Email: kanderson@byron.nsw.gov.au

Project consultant's role

The project consultant, Locale Consulting, is assisting Council in delivering the project. This includes facilitating the Group meetings and running other engagement activities.

The key contact at Locale Consulting will be:

Emma Broomfield
Director - Governance & Mediation


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