A Social Master Plan needs to be done to help the City of Red Deer focus on what it should do specifically to address social issues like addictions, says a city official.
Social Planning Department manager Scott Cameron said his department will begin working with the community and city council in 2011 on the scope of what that plan should look like. The plan will then get underway in 2012.
Cameron said the master plan would identify what assets already exist in the community, where the community challenges lie, and determine what the city’s particular role should be.
“There are so many things that are happening in our community that we really have no legislated responsibility for — but we see them happening on our streets, in our back alleys and in our homes,” said Cameron after presenting his draft 2011 operational budget to council on Friday. “Health and addictions are a provincial responsibility,” Cameron added.
Councillor Lynne Mulder said she was excited about the Social Master Plan, but she was disappointed that it was going forward earlier.
The Social Planning Department is a small department with 12 full-time positions.
Council was told the department has a vacancy in the second community researcher position. It’s eliminated the department’s ability to review Neighbourhood Area Structure Plans and amendments, conduct social impact assessments, lead community research projects and support other information needs.
The department currently manages 71 funding agreements with 37 different community agencies in the areas of Family and Community Support Services, affordable housing and homelessness.
The Social Planning’s draft budget for 2011 is set at $1.4 million ($7.2 million in expenses, $5.7 million in revenue). Last year’s budget was $1.37 million.