At the Ordinary Council Meeting held on 21 September 2018, Council reviewed all Section 355 Committee arrangements and subsequently resolved that the Crookwell Christmas in the Park Committee’s status as a Section 355 Committee of Council be rescinded.
After careful consideration Council determined that the functions of the Christmas in the Park Committee did not fit within the parameters of Council’s core activities, as specified by Council’s insurers (such as libraries, swimming pools, halls, art galleries), and the Committee did not provide a management role or advice to Council in relation to operational matters.
Upper Lachlan Shire Council’s Mayor Cr John Stafford, Cr Richard Opie, and Acting General Manager Andrew Croke met with representatives from Council’s former Section 355 Christmas in the Park Committee on 14 May 2019 to discuss the dissolution of the Committee.
It should be noted that Council’s decision does not preclude the Christmas in the Park Committee from meeting or undertaking projects, it simply removes the Committee from Council’s auspices.
Additionally, the Committee did not meet a number of Section 355 Committee mandatory requirements; including auditing of financial accounts each year, and forwarding minutes of their Annual General Meetings and minutes of all Committee meetings for adoption by Council.
The financial audit of the Section 355 Christmas in the Park Committee to 30 June 2019 will be completed to determine what quantum of funds are available. Once the audit is complete Council will make a decision, in consultation with former Section 355 Committee, to determine how any remaining funds will be allocated.
Mr Croke thanked all Committee members and volunteers for their involvement in the Committee.
“Council understands the disappointment felt by the Christmas in the Park Committee members and volunteers by the decision to rescind the Committee,” Mr Croke said.
“On behalf of Council I would like to thank all Committee members and volunteers for their service to the community and wish them all best in the future.”
At the 18 April 2019 Ordinary Council Meeting, Council resolved to: Advise the Crookwell Progress Association of the current available funds of $3,000 in the 2018/2019 Operational Plan [for Christmas activities in the Upper Lachlan Shire and] meet with the Crookwell Progress Association to discuss preliminary ideas for Christmas 2019.
Discussions with the Crookwell Progress Association in relation to this matter are progressing and they have expressed interest in coordinating the Christmas street decorations in Crookwell with Council staff will provide assistance in coordinating installation of the decorations.
The Crookwell Progress Association are not a Section 355 Committee of Council, and therefore must have their own insurance coverage. Council will not be forming a Section 355 Committee for Christmas celebrations.