The Final Report of the NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel – Revitalising Local Government argues for structural reform of Councils. North Shore Councils are taking moves to move along the direction the State Government is promoting.
It is proposed to amalgamate to existing Regional Organisations of Councils. NSROC consists of Hornsby, Kuringia, Willoughby, North Sydney, Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde Councils. SHOROC comprises Manly, Pittwater, Mosman and Warringah Councils. There have been a number of previous attempt to amalgamate these two bodies. These moves failed due to the hesitancy of SHOROC..
The merged entity would be known as a Council of Mayors (focusing on regional advocacy, intergovernmental relations and strategic planning). It would comprise the Mayors of all eleven Councils.
Accompanying the Council of Mayors would be a Regional Services Group (to provide joint services for participating Councils). It is touted that this would be a group of General Managers from participating Councils.This sounds a bit bizzare. Far better to have all Councils participating in the Regional services Group.
These proposal (from some perspectives) are a step backward from the NSROC structure where Mayors and General Managers sit together on the same Board.
Presumably the proposed structure is because there are eleven Councils which would mean a twenty-two person Board. If nothing else, this identifies the need to have fewer larger Councils.