City of Subiaco councillors reject calls to change wards and council numbers

City of Subiaco councillors reject calls to change wards and council numbers

CITY of Subiaco council has voted against the officer’s recommendation and community to adjust boundaries of its wards and reduce the number of councillors from eleven to eight in the October 2017 Local Government Election.

The council voted 8-3 instead for an alternate recommendation to redraw the boundaries of the current four wards and to increase the number of councillors from 11 to 12.

The proposal went out for public consultation earlier this year, with 83 per cent of the 111 submissions received supporting a four-ward structure and reducing the amount of councillors to eight.

Council will now make a proposal to the Local Government Advisory Board on its decision.

Councillor Stephanie Stroud voted in favour of the officer’s recommendation and said if council did not listen to the community it would be a “slap in the face”.

“We need to bite the bullet and go down to eight, and yes it means the contest will be on between councillors,” she said.

“We’ve cut back 31 staff and yet 12 of us still sit here arguing around the table; we need to show leadership.

“If we don’t listen it’s going to put out a message to the community of why even bother replying to surveys.”

Cr Murray Rowe voted against the recommendation and said the numbers in council were needed for diversity.

“It’s difficult to make decisions in council and when two people are away it’s even more difficult,” he said.

“Our strategic position is vital, it’s important that we have diversity of experience and positions on council.”

Cr Hugh Richardson said he was concerned if council ignored the consultation it would harm its reputation.