Proposal for council change

Gingin Shire president Michael Aspinall.
Gingin Shire president Michael Aspinall.

At a recent meeting , the council received a copy of a ward review on elected member representation.

The report was prepared after the Local Government Advisory Board last March requested the Shire to conduct a review as the councillor-to-ratepayer ratio in the eight wards was not within the required plus or minus 10 per cent deviation ratio.

Shire President Michael Aspinall said wards such as Ledge Point, Seabird and North were either under or over represented when compared to other wards in the Shire.

He said the council considered a number of options, including making no changes to wards or councillor numbers, a reduction to three wards with three elected members per ward and no wards with a reduction in elected members from 10 to nine.

‘A public consultation process was undertaken for six weeks,’ Cr Aspinall said.

‘The general elector preference was a three ward structure with three councillors in each.

‘The council thoroughly reviewed this option, however it was of the view that if approved, it would require further review in future years due to potential population increases .’

Shire chief executive Jeremy Edwards said council’s resolution to remove all the wards would benefit the Shire financially.

‘By having no wards it reduces costs and it ensures we won’t have to do this process again,’ he said.

The Shire will now write to the LGAB to notify of its proposal for a no ward structure.

‘If the Local Government minister approves the plan for the 2013 Shire elections, we will have four positions become vacant,’ Mr Edwards said.

‘It also would mean a candidate wouldn’t have to be a resident in a specific area to nominate. Ultimately, a no ward structure means there would be equal representation across the whole Shire.’