Freo's View

NEW FREO KIDS ON THE BLOG/BLOCK

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, Uncategorized by freoview on November 3, 2017

 

blog or block

 

As a blogger I know too well how easy it is to let typos slip through when copy reading, so with a bit of Schadenfreude I discovered today that I am not the only one who makes mistakes.

The Fremantle Story advertisement in the Herald today should have read block instead of blog, but unlike this blogger the City staffers don’t have the luxury of  correcting a mistake once it’s gone into print. When I publish a typo, which I do far too often, and notice it I can still change it, which means I only look like an idiot a few times a week.

Check out all the new kids on the Freo blogs and block anyway! ; >)

 

Roel Loopers

FREO’S DISCONNECT A PRIORITY

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, seniors, Uncategorized by freoview on October 26, 2017

 

With the election finally over we can now all move on and create an even better Fremantle together.

After talking to many people and monitoring social media, there is no doubt that there is a serious disconnect between the City of Fremantle and the community, and an us and them feeling, as many people feel being left out or ignored.

Mayor Brad Pettitt clearly also picked that up, as his recent blog post indicates.

# There need to be better services in the suburbs, because people in Samson, Hilton and North Fremantle feel they are not cared for and that their rates are spent elsewhere.

# The coordination of social services is a must. Only last week no accommodation could be found for a desperate woman, but there were 30 beds available at 100 Hampton Road that night C0F staff said. That is not acceptable.

# We have a vast ageing population in Australia, and Fremantle already has a higher percentage of seniors than most councils, so they need to be considered more. My suggestions of a Circle of Elders, similar to the Youth Council, has not been taken on so far by Fremantle Council, so not sure what their reluctance is.

# Better communication is essential as the majority of people I talked to while door knocking did not have a clue of what goes on at council, and they also don’t understand the separation between the administration and council and what responsibilities the staff have.

Not communicating with the community means there is a silly dislike of council, and the City of Fremantle is by many seen as the enemy of the community, so how do we connect?

Many people who work at Freo City actually live in our city and are one of us. Our Councillors all live in Fremantle, but for newly elected City Ward Councillor Adin Lang, who lives in Cockburn, but has an office in Freo.

So staff and councillors are not strangers, but part of our community, people we see on our streets and in cafes and shops. That story needs to be told.

Collaborating, networking, brain storming, respectful dialogue, genuine community consultation, better listening and being less cynical are all ways forward to building our future together.

Fremantle is a great place with a great community, and we need to embrace positivity instead of indulging in negativity.

WE CAN DO IT FREO!

Roel Loopers

BAD COMMUNICATION A FREO ISSUE

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, Uncategorized by freoview on October 23, 2017

 

I am not going to analyse the Fremantle Council election results, but to say that one needs to do more than just criticising the incumbents to take over. The community wants vision, reassurance, new ideas, and hope that Freo’s rebirth and revitalisation is well under way.

Voters are clever enough to understand that offering free parking is not a great vision, or even a solution.

The main lesson I learned, and Fremantle Council should take heed off, is that the community is largely ignorant about what Council does and the role the administration plays.

There is a real lack of knowledge in the community about what goes on at Council , so there is a lot of unwarranted blame addressed at the wrong people.

Communication is quite clearly an issue here and needs to be drastically improved and prioritised if Fremantle Council wants to get rid off the us and them feeling that exists in the community.

It is a very unhealthy situation when a large part of the community considers Council the enemy of the people. We vote Councillors in to represent the community, so we need to respect and trust them. That requires thorough understanding about what they are doing

There is an attitude in the administration that the community has to find out for themselves what goes on, instead of actually ‘hand-delivering’ information to the community. The assumption that people will find out on social media what the City of Fremantle does is lazy public relations and marketing and not good enough.

It was clear when talking to hundreds of people over the last couple of months that there is a disconnect between Freo City and the community, hence conspiracy, innuendo and negativity.

The facts and achievements need to be out there for all to read, and real changes need to be implemented fast on how the City communicates with the people.

When people know what goes on and take ownership off and pride in our city we can work better together to create an even better Freo.

I might have lost this one battle to get onto Council, but I’ll continue to demand better, more consistent and more balanced governance from our elected members, and a much better performance at many levels from parts of the City’s administration.

It is more than ever essential to scrutinise the City of Fremantle with a fine comb and to not let them get away with anything. I’ll endeavour to do that on Freo’s View!

 

Roel Loopers

LIVE STREAMING OF FREO COUNCIL MEETINGS

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, Uncategorized by freoview on September 28, 2017

 

Fremantle Council is considering live-streaming council and committee meetings to create more transparency and for the public to better understand local government process.

Looking at the lack of interest in local government I doubt that many people would watch council meetings on their computer or smartphone, but anything that will minimise community ignorance is good, because it is astounding how little Fremantle residents know about what goes on in our city.

At the second last council meeting before the election last night not even the candidates bothered to turn up and get a better understanding of what could be their future place of work.

There is quite clearly a lack of proper communication with the community when most people in South Fremantle and beyond are not aware that the rubber speedhumps in South Terrace are just temporary and that they will be replaced with permanent traffic calming raised platforms, and that street furniture and new trees will give the area a more residential appearance.

When only a small percentage of residents have applied for a parking permit that allows them to park for free twenty hours per day, that has been available for over ten years, that shows that the information does not get through to the people, hence they complain about perceived parking problems.

The Fremantle Festival parade is scratched because of lack of interest from the community, and not many people turn up any more to watch the Blessing of the Fleet, that used to be a big draw card, simply because they do not know it is on. Even at ANZAC Day there are fewer people watching than in previous years, so what needs to be done?

Having a massive decline in spectators does affect our local traders, so let’s start with the basics, improve communication, and get the message out there that Freo is alive and well.

Live streaming might interest only a few but it is worth consideration. It is important though that the privacy of public speakers is protected so that they don’t attract social media bullies.

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

FREMANTLE CITY NEEDS TO LEARN STORY TELLING

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, tourism by freoview on October 25, 2016

Listening to the panel of business people at the Fremantle Network last night I went away shaking my head about the City of Fremantle’s inability to communicate well with visitors and locals alike.

Parking was mentioned again and struggling retailers and that we don’t promote our inner city Bathers Beach and for me that all due to insufficient communication.

What do retailers need most? People staying in town longer! How do you activate Bathers Beach and Arthur Head? By letting people prominently know it is there!

Many people I talk to at the Roundhouse often say they are running out of parking meter time and are in a rush. That is bad for business, so why are there no prominent signs at the entries to Fremantle pointing out all-day cheap parking spaces? It’s $ 8 per day at Point Street, $ 9 per day at the Woolstores, $ 11 per day at Victoria Quay just behind the train station and $ 11 at the Italian Club carpark. I am sure there are others that offer similar discounts, so why does no one know about it?!

We constantly hear that Fremantle Council wants to activate Arthur Head, so why is there no promotion for Bathers Beach as the CBD beach, why is not more done about amenities there and good landscaping and a small playground on the reserve at J Shed, and why is the significant heritage not promoted and supported better? That brings people to the area, they will linger longer and spend more money. It’s not rocket science!

The City of Fremantle needs to learn story telling because what it delivers at the moment is not good enough. The full page CoF ad in the Fremantle Herald each week is a waste of money and should be written as a column, writing about the good and bad in Fremantle. Good story telling is an art form that communicates well and connects people and it works much better than advertising.

Fremantle has no parking issues, it has communication issues!

Roel Loopers

VISIONS FOR FREMANTLE NEED TO BE INCLUSIVE

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, local government by freoview on October 2, 2016

As someone who only has approximately 15-20 years left to live I have been wondering for quite some time why society does not tap into the experience and wisdom of older people more and why it is that here in Fremantle council is very keen to engage with younger people and create a youth culture, while older people are ignored and often dismissed as being negative and against change.

We have a Youth Council in Fremantle, so why not also a Circle of Elders, a select group of older people who engage and want to contribute, people who come up with constructive new ideas. I don’t mean whingers who tell us everything that is going on in Fremantle is wrong, but I also don’t mean shoulder clapping one-eyed supporters of what Fremantle Council has been doing.

Personally I believe change is essential to move forward and progress in Fremantle, but change needs to be sensible and restraint, as it is often challenging and can even be confronting for many in our community who would like to hold on to the status quo.

I believe the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it attitude is wrong because often things can be improved, and I believe councils have a duty to make positive changes and long-term plans, and I believe the community can and should constructively contribute to that. Fremantle Council needs to get over its fear of being criticised, that is part and parcel of being in government.

We can start better community involvement by being more inclusive about who speaks at the monthly Fremantle Network events, because there is in my opinion an imbalance there that needs to be adjusted. I for one would like to hear Olwyn Williams the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce’s vision for Fremantle, and also that of Celia Hammond the Vice Chancellor of Notre Dame University. I would also like to hear constructive ideas from Fremantle Society president John Dowson on how his group believe we can move forward together and make Freo an even better place to live, and I like to hear from independent people who are not part of community or political groups.

There are many people in Fremantle who really care, who want to share, who have new innovative and realistic ideas and who want a positive debate about the future of our great city, so why don’t we embrace those, even when they sometimes are critical of Fremantle Council, why don’t we get to hear their stories, their dreams and visions?

I love engaging with young people as it is refreshing to hear their ideas, even if they are sometimes not that new and a bit naive. I enjoyed listening at the Fremantle Network to the very bright Liam Carter of the Youth Council and to the people of Soup. It’s great to see the enthusiasm and the willingness to get involved with local issues, but we need to engage all sections of our community, the left ‘loonies’ and the right ‘loonies’ and the old and young ones, and everyone in between.

If we can create real positive and respectful engagement between the community and the elected members and staff of the City of Fremantle we can truly make a difference, so let’s give it a go!

Roel Loopers

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