Ramsgate Ratepayers & Residents’ Association Outcomes of the Strategic Planning
Outcomes for the Strategic Planning meeting of the Executive Committee of the Ramsgate Ratepayers and Residents Association (RRRA), on Monday 14 May 2017
Following the Annual General Meeting of the RRRA, the Executive Committee was concerned about the poor turn-out at the event despite good publicity and holding the meeting during the school holidays, when many non-residents were ‘in town’. It was felt therefore, that an analysis of the issues affecting residents needed to be conducted and to this end, it was agreed, that a strategic planning meeting was essential to identify the key areas where the RRRA was not achieving its targets or meeting the expectations of residents, and to identify solutions to address the issues.
A questionnaire soliciting the views of committee members was circulated before the meeting. Members asked to answer a number of questions and/or identify issues under the following headings; the Challenges, the Residents, the Municipalities, the over-arching bodies which oversee the Ramsgate NGOs and the Ratepayer Associations on the Lower South Coast.
The responses were analysed, consolidated and presented to the committee at the start of meeting. Thereafter the members identified the five most important issues that need to be addressed. These were:
- The lack of awareness of the functions and role of the RRRA and the general apathy of residents
- Insufficient feedback to residents on the positive aspects and achievements of the RRRA
- The importance of building relationships based on trust and mutual concerns with residents and the authorities
- The need to recruit more residents to become involved in the functions of the RRRA
- Improve communications particularly with residents and ensure that there is effective follow-up on issues
Following considerable debate and analyzing each of the above five points, the committee concluded that the while the various portfolios, viz.
- Infrastructure: Roads, water
- Beach facilities
- Building and planning
- Community services: Verges, rubbish removal, etc
- Community safety: Police, CPF
- Communication: Website, Facebook, newsletters, etc
were being effectively managed by those responsible, communication with all parties was generally the major downfall.
The following issues were identified:
- Both residents and non-residents were unaware of all the activities of the RRRA
- There was a need to raise the levels of awareness, if the apparent apathy was to be overcome
- The RRRA was not generating enough good and tangible results
- A mechanism needed to be set up, whereby information of the RRRA activities could be collated regularly and distributed
- Relationships with RNM and UGU needed to be improved, recognizing that the Ramsgate Urban Improvement Precinct (RUDP), needed to be spearheading this
- There was a need to reinforce the positive aspects of the RRRA functions and to educate all parties
- It was critical to get more residents involved in the functions of the RRRA
- Communication needed to be effective and that this required significant expertise
- Businesses need to be involved with the RRRA and could help to raise awareness
- The RRRA database needed to be increased to include more residents and non-residents.
The over-riding conclusion, was that effective communication was the key for dealing with the majority of issues. To this end, an initiative to improve the communication with different parties, recognizing that different strategies would be required for each party, would need to be launched.
The following action plan was agreed upon:
|1||Appoint a marketing and communications specialist volunteer||GDC/BD Due by Sept|
|2||Expose the RUDP to all the outcomes of this exercise and encourage the RUDP to become involved with the activities of the RRRA||GDC/RB Due by June mtg|
|3||Draft a job specification for marketing and communications specialist volunteer||BD Due by end May|
|4||Upgrade and expand the RRRA newsletter (see Southbroom newsletter)||MT Due by Sept|
|5||Expand the RRRA database (the ultimate goal needs to be a single database with for all the NGOs and to which all have access under auspices of RUDP)||MT Ongoing project|
|6||Recruitment of more volunteers from amongst residents to assist the portfolios of the RRRA||DS Due by Sept|