Council’s Christmas opening to be reviewed

THE staffing of the Derwent Valley Council office each Christmas is under reviewr. During councillor question time at this month’s meeting, Cr Damian Bester asked whether the general manager would conduct a cost/benefit analysis of the recent practice of opening the council office between Christmas and the New Year.

Historically the council office was closed during this period, but several years ago a decision was made to have a skeleton staff on duty for the handful of business days between Christmas and the New Year. Responding to Cr Bester’s question, general manager Stephen Mackey said it was already clear that little business was done during the period in question. Few development applications were received at this time and ratepayers now had alternative methods of paying their rates demands.

Mr Mackey advised that he too was at work over Christmas, and agreed that it was an appropriate time to analyse the effectiveness of opening the office during the holiday period.

Cr Bester said he was not generally in favour of reducing services, but he thought this might be an opportunity to reduce costs if the service was not being used. He looked forward to the general manager reporting back to the January council meeting.

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