Council Lobbying: Traffic Calming In SuburbiaCouncil Lobbying: Traffic Calming In Suburbia

Hoons in suburbia are a growing problem with residents up in arms over the noise, the speed and the outlandish behavior. Generally Local Councils have responsibility for roads on suburbia while the Police obviously have responsibility for speeding vehicles and unruly behavior. In many instances, residents may have already lobbied Council and/or the Police to take action. In order to have your complaints taken seriously, residents must provide some sort of evidence to support the complaint. This evidence can take the form of video footage of the hoons in action, sound recordings, diarised entries detailing when the incidents occur, what timeframe is involved, how many vehicles, etc, recordings of number plates, makes and models of vehicles involved.

Council and the Police generally are required to investigate all complaints. There are a number of initiatives that Council and the Police can implement to try and put a stop to the hoons. Council can put in place traffic calming devices to slow down the hoons or in other instances deter heavy vehicles from travelling through quiet residential areas. Council obviously would need to commit funding to fix the problem and this generally will need to be budgeted for in advance. Residents need to continue put pressure on the Council and especially the local Councilors to fix the problem completely. While some Councilors are very responsive to community needs - many unfortunately are indifferent. Residents who lobby hard and regularly, will generally be rewarded with action. If it does not seem like the Council is listening, take your complaint to the local media - they are always looking for a good story. An important aspect of having your voice heard though is to actively seek the support of other residents who might also be fed up with the noise and unruly behavior. The more people who complain - the more chance you have of having Council take action. Certainly the media loves a story of sign waving angry residents!

Similarly Police are a vital in stopping hoons. Residents need to make continued representations to Police to increase patrols in the area. Further if residents have registration numbers, makes/models/colours of vehicles - these should be included in your complaints. Hopefully Police might make a visit to the hoons which just may help change their attitude.

In lobbying Council, Police or other Government agencies - the key is to put all of your complaints in writing and request a written response. It is very easy in the public sector to dismiss verbal complaints, it is much harder to dismiss something in writing. Further requesting a written response then ensures the person responding to you is accountable and you have a documented record of the action or inaction they propose to take. This is vital if you want your issue to be addressed.

It is also important to maintain a united front, which is a challenging task but it is essential to success. Some might want to break away or suggest that action be taken through the Courts. Court action is not only very expensive but as soon as you engage lawyers - the chances of a negotiated outcome are very slim. Further the case will probably be tied up in Court for years. The Group needs to maintain unity - Government agencies love to divide and conquer - it is much easier for such agencies to dismiss complaints or demands for action if it can splinter the Action Group into smaller, less powerful and politically savvy sub groups.

Red Tape Busters Pty Ltd, an Australian based company specialising in lobbying and the intricacies of the public sector.
by Nick Ideabank
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Red Tape Busters is based in Queensland Australia and provides services in: Government and Private Sector Lobbying; Government Funding & Grant Writing Service; Job Application Writing Service; Business and Strategic Planning; Tender Writing Service and Business Support Services.
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