Spots open on Alberni Social Planning Council

The Alberni Valley Social Planning Council will hold its election of officers and annual general meeting on Feb. 22.

The Alberni Valley Social Planning Council is holding its annual general meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and there are 10 positions on the board of directors up for grabs.

Jim Sands from SPARC BC will be the guest speaker at the AGM, council chair Alice Schoffer said.

Since the social planning council was rolled out in December 2010 as a registered non-profit society, the board has developed partnerships with several stakeholders in the community and also concentrated on five projects: food security, a community indicator project, a study to co-ordinate services in the Alberni Valley, supporting literacy programs and looking at a website and social media as means to build the council’s profile in the community.

The council is developing an Alberni Valley Food Charter, modeled after a similar charter in Comox. They have obtained some seed money from the Ministry of Children and Family Development to work on the indicator project.

The council has held networking meetings throughout the past year in an effort to co-ordinate similar services in the Valley, and that has included partnering with Connect the Dots on a service provider crawl scheduled for May 8. Council directors have also been working on a community resource directory, Schoffer noted in her report.

The social planning council was instrumental in creating the Community Investment Program, which has replaced the City of Port Alberni’s grants in aid program. The council also launched a harm reduction program for safe needle disposal with literature and an information session on Feb. 16.

The new board will set the council’s priorities and goals for 2012 at the March meeting. “Our hope is to have community engagement in our planning sessions and the opportunity to build on our success over the past year,” Schoffer wrote in her report.

The AGM begins at 7 p.m. at Char’s Landing on Argyle Street, across from Port Alberni City Hall. Limited copies of the annual report will be available for reading. Memberships are being sold for $2; anyone wishing to be nominated for the board must have a membership.