Call to return to wards: City of Gosnells

A FORMER City of Gosnells deputy mayor has submitted a petition for the City to go back to having ward councillors.

Michael Devereux – who served on the council for 14 years – submitted a petition with 250 signatures to the City.

He said the reason why he feels there should be ward councillors was because it would make it easier to get things done.

Currently, residents in the City of Gosnells area elect 12 councillors who then vote for the mayor.

But the 12 are elected from anywhere within the area and not to a certain ward, which is how the majority of councils operate in WA.

The City of Gosnells, Town of Bassendean, Shire of Peppermint Grove, City of Kwinana and City of Perth are the only councils in the metro area that do not have wards.

The Local Government Act allows electors to make a submission in relation to returning to a ward system which must be supported by at least 250 signatures.

“The wards make you responsible so you know what is going on,” Mr Devereux said.

“You can actually get more things done if you have wards.”

Gosnells MP Chris Tallentire called on the City to use wards because it would make it easier for residents to go to the right councillor when faced with a problem.

“The City of Gosnells should give people the chance to vote for local ward councillors,” he said.

“More than 250 people have petitioned David Griffiths because they say the council is remote.

“The City of Gosnells has experimented for years with the no-ward system.”

City of Gosnells chief executive officer Ian Cowie said the City had been using the ward system since 2009.

“This change was made because the City’s rapid population growth, particularly in the suburbs of Canning Vale and Southern River, meant that ward boundaries had to continually be adjusted to ensure that councillor-to-elector ratios remained consistent across the wards,” he said.

“Single and multiple-ward systems both have advantages and disadvantages. The legislation allows for both systems.”