By TONY FOSTER
Mayor of Brighton
2009 has begun and it looks like this year will be another exciting one for our community.
Brighton has much on the drawing board and the signs are positive that this year will be another year of significant achievement.
One of the most exciting developments will see the transition to the new education concept announced last year by Premier and Minister for Education David Bartlett and his government in accepting the major recommendations of the Southern Midlands Education Renewal Taskforce. New manager of the Bridgewater/Brighton Learning Federation Andy Bennett is already out and about in our community and consulting with stakeholders to ensure that the transition is a smooth one. A profile on Andy and his most immediate priorities is featured in this edition of Brighton Community News. The future of education in our community remains our top priority and we will be working closely with Andy to ensure that the major initiatives of the recommendations are implemented.
Another exciting development is council’s decision to begin forward planning for the new Streetscape for the municipality to ensure that we are well and truly on track for the changed dynamic once the Brighton bypass begins. We commissioned John Hepper from Inspiring Place, which is a specialist urban planning consultancy that works with communities to develop sustainable projects, to develop a suitable concept. More information about John’s work with council is contained in this edition of Brighton Community News.
The Brighton bypass is also proceeding and we expect an announcement shortly about the start of work on that project. Coupled with this is the start of the region’s transport hub, west of the Brighton industrial estate, which has been Council’s vision for a number of years. We are confident that this will consolidate Brighton as a regional centre and will help in our future planning for the region.
As with last year we are also anticipating a busy year one with a diverse range of community activities planned, particularly through Brighton Alive. A number of special events are being organised including participation in our municipality once again by Ten Days on the Island which, this year, will be held on Sunday, March 29 at Old Beach.
We also have the added benefit of our new multi-functional Brighton Civic Centre, which was opened at the end of last year, and which is already being well utilised by community organisations and individuals alike. The new centre is providing an ideal venue for activities for all and I have no doubt it will be kept very busy throughout the next 12 months.
I am looking forward to what will be happening in our community this year and I encourage everyone to take part both in terms of your feedback to Council on issues affecting you, as well as participating in the planned events. For the latter, I hope to see you at some of them over ensuing months.