Prompted by the State Governments ‘Amalgamation’ initiatives, Willoughby Council is considering joining a new organisation known as the Northern Metropolitan Council of Mayors. This Council would comprise the Mayors and General Managers of:
- North Sydney
- Hunters Hill
- Lane Cove
The initiative consists of two new organisations – the Council of Mayors plus a Regional Services Group where General Mangers of each Council would form the board.
It is hoped that creating these two structure will assist any attempt by the State Government to amalgamate Councils.
In the past, in the Council areas proposed there have been three regional initiatives. Willoughby has been involved with two of them – NSROC and SHORELINK
Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC)
This covered 7 Council areas: Hornsby; Kur-ing-gai; Ryde; Willoughby; North Sydney; Hunters Hill and Lane Cove. When it first started it was seen as a regional purchasing group. The ‘Board’ consisted of two Councillors from each of the participating Council. It was reasonably successful in achieving group savings.
As local Government became more complex, the structure of NSROC was varied slightly to include the Mayors of each Council. Funding for executive support was increased so that NSROC also became a reasonably effective lobby group.(SHROC Councils of Pittwater, Manly, Mosman and Warringah were operating in a similar way)..
The new proposal streamlines the new ‘Board’ by making it purely of Mayors. It would be impractical to have a Board of 22 Mayors and Councillors). The services organisation group continues (as it did under NSROC) with the General Mangers at the helm.
Shorelink is a voluntary amalgamation of five Councils (Willoughby, North Sydney, Mosman, Manly and Lane Cove) for the provision of Library Services for its member Councils. It has been in successful operation since the early 1980s.Library users love the system. It allows borrowing across the entire network with the ability to return a book to any library (as well as a host of other features). An independent analysis of the financial operations found the structure adopted (a single system with tailored interfaces for each library – if needed) was the most effective of any public libraries in NSW. The only downside of the operation is that the two large library systems (Willoughby and North Sydney) are partly funding services for the three smaller libraries.