We have received the following information from Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney:
“I have received a call late this afternoon from Minister Toole’s office
They confirmed that the “Northern Beaches” proposal of a merger of Manly, Pittwater and Warringah is in order and has been accepted for further consideration by the Boundaries Commission.
As a result of this, a further proposal will be also considered by the Boundaries Commission of a Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby merger.
Ian Reynolds has been appointed as the Delegate for this proposal and will be in touch with us in the coming days. Another community consultation meeting will be held and the closing date for submissions will be the 8th of April. They will not be issuing a full report into this proposal. The Boundaries Commission website has been updated to reflect this additional proposal.”
New merger proposal from State Government released
Willoughby, North Sydney and Mosman councils
A new merger proposal for Willoughby, North Sydney and Mosman councils was released yesterday on the NSW’s Government’s Council Boundary Review website.
This results from the Minister for Local Government accepting the legitimacy of a community initiated boundary proposal to create a ‘Northern Beaches’ Council (Warringah, Pittwater and Manly). This second merger proposal is in addition to a prior proposal put forward by the State Government, which involved splitting Warringah and included Mosman along with all of Manly and Pittwater Councils.
Willoughby Council will now respond to two boundary proposals:
· The initial Willoughby and North Sydney proposal. Council endorsed a draft submission at its 22 February Council Meeting, which will be finalised and submitted by the due date of Sunday 28 February.
· The second proposal for Willoughby, North Sydney and Mosman – submissions close 8 April 2016.
The second proposal is not detailed like the first. It is simply a notification letter from the Minister for Local Government on the Council Boundary Review website.
The Willoughby/North Sydney Delegate, Ian Reynolds will assess both merger proposals and make a recommendation on the preferred proposal to the Boundaries Commission. At this stage, proclamations of new councils are still expected by mid 2016.
Willoughby Council will consider the new merger proposal, and any submission it may wish to make, in accord with the 8 April 2016 deadline.
Council also encourages the community to take part in the consultation process for the new merger proposal which now includes Mosman. A Public Inquiry will be held and the details announced in the coming weeks.
Willoughby City Council will keep the community informed of this process via its website, press and social media releases as more information becomes available.
Please visit http://www.councilboundaryreview.nsw.gov.au for further information.
– Ends –
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Councillor L Saville has indicated her intention to move the following Notice of Motion.
That Willoughby City Council organises a public meeting to adequately inform this
community of the latest proposal for council amalgamation, and potential ramifications for
WCC and its community.
Discussions should include:
a) financial implications including rates;
b) the implications for a community representation with 15 councillors in a mega council
(3 council) entity;
c) maintaining current level of services.
General Manager’s Comments
Council received notification of the Merger Proposal for Mosman, North Sydney and
Willoughby on 25 February 2016 with submissions due to the State government by 8 April
2016. Consequently, a briefing for Councillors was arranged at the earliest available date of
7 March 2016. The briefing provided Councillors with the opportunity to discuss the contents
of Council‟s draft submission in response to the newly announced merger proposal. The
merits of a Council-initiated public meeting were also discussed given the need to action the
same in a timely manner prior to this meeting of Council when Cr Saville‟s Notice of Motion
is to be addressed.
Council‟s draft submission on the Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby Merger Proposal
will be considered at the Council meeting to be held on 29 March 2016. It builds on
Council‟s submission for the North Sydney and Willoughby Council Merger Proposal, which
addressed the legislative criteria referenced in Section 263 of the Local Government Act
The original submission relating to the North Sydney and Willoughby merger proposal,
provided significant information reflecting the sentiments of the community, ascertained
during consultation throughout the reform process.
ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING 14 MARCH 2016
ITEM – 19.1 Notice Of Motion: Willoughby Council Merger Proposal
References relating to Mosman have been identified and included in the draft submission,
together with any other available information. It is noted however, that the current merger
proposal which includes Mosman together with North Sydney and Willoughby, was not one
of the four options presented to the community for consultation. Community members could,
however, submit their own submissions independently.
The North Sydney and Willoughby merger proposal submission detailed financial
implications and this has been expanded to reference Mosman in the draft submission
considered by Councillors at the recent briefing. Current rates comparisons, and the
Government‟s announcement of a freeze in the rating path of each merged council for the
next four years, provides the best indication of the likely impact on rates. This can be
ascertained from publicly available documents such as the Long Term Financial Plans of
each council. After the four year period, the rates will be a matter for the new council to
establish and therefore cannot be predicted.
Service levels in a merged entity will presumably reflect the four year rating path freeze for
the individual councils, that is, reflect their existing intentions with regard to services and
service levels. As for rates, the services and service levels after that four-year period will be
established by the new council taking into consideration the needs of the communities within
its expanded area.
The North Sydney and Willoughby merger proposal submission addressed local
representation and provided a number of scenarios for 4, 5 and 6 wards, and explained how
they related to 13 and 15 Councillors. Similar drafts of ward boundary maps were compiled
for the briefing for Councillors on the Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby merger.
Due to the timing of the announcement of the Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby
Merger Proposal, combined with the governance deadlines relating to the preparation of the
submission to be presented to Council, it would be logistically difficult for Council to organise
a public meeting on this issue.
The Delegate examining the Mosman, North Sydney and Willoughby Merger Proposal, has
announced two Public Inquiry times as follows:
1. The Chatswood Club, 11 Help Street, Chatswood
Tuesday, 22 March 2016, 5:00pm – 10:00pm, and
2. The Mosman Club, 719 Military Road, Mosman
Wednesday, 23 March 2016, 5:00pm – 10:00pm.
That Council considers the Notice of Motion from Councillor Saville.