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the Breeze

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I was really pleased to have been able to bring this important meeting to the residents of NSI. The passion and depth of feeling of the Straddie community was plain to see, highlighting the value and need for more engagement opportunities such as this I had very clearly heard your calls for more information and clearer communication on a whole range of issues. Thankfully I was able to garner the support from Mayor Williams and thus Council officers to make it happen. While this meeting was convened by myself and Mayor Williams, we are very sincerely grateful to all our invited guests and partner agencies who gave their time and expertise in good faith and co-operation. This session was a much needed chance to discuss the future of the island and to hear from a range of residents about their issues and opportunities. .

It sought to investigate how we can work together now and into the future to realise these opportunities and respond well to the issues. During the discussion there were a number of important, difficult and at times sensitive matters raised. Some of the topics were primarily of Councils responsibility, and I have highlighted my actions on these on this page. Other issues were not, and while Council is a minority land holder on the island and has limited control over many of the NSI Economic Transition Strategy projects, we have committed to sourcing as many responses to the questions raised as possible. This work has begun and the information will be loaded to Council’s website YourSay page when complete. As stated, the meeting was a good start and has highlighted the need for these strong partnerships and collaboration to expand into the future. I do believe that at a local level we all understand this need but I believe there is an understandable gap higher up the chain of command where we need greater understanding and assistance. In particular, I will be advocating to the State ministerial level highlighting the need for more local face to face engagement on emerging Island projects. More clear and open discussion at a township level wherever and as soon as deemed appropriate. I don’t believe the fine grain of local imexpectation is fully appreciated and I hope to highlight this. I have also spoken to several residents since, and have taken your critisisms and input on board to improve future council led meetings. Date, form and venue to be decided.

• The township meeting

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