City of Subiaco decides not to tinker with councillor numbers or ward boundaries

City of Subiaco decides not to tinker with councillor numbers or ward boundaries

AFTER a year of speculation, City of Subiaco council voted on Tuesday night not to reduce its number of councillors or to adjust ward boundaries.

Councillor Stephanie Stroud’s motion to reduce the number of councillors from 11 to eight was thrown out, as was fellow North Ward councillor Peter McAllister’s motion to reduce the number to 10.

Council voted 6-5 on both motions, but an absolute majority of seven was needed.

The proposal to reduce the number of councillors to eight and follow a four-ward structure went out for public consultation last year, with 83 per cent of the 111 submissions received from residents in support of the move.

Cr Stroud said in November it would be “a slap in the face” if council did not listen to the community, and echoed those sentiments again last night.

“It’s what the residents want,” she said.

“We must listen to the people.”

Subiaco resident Paul Netscher said it was unnecessary to have 11 councillors for Subiaco’s population.

“There are 870 residents per councillor in Subiaco,” he said.

“In comparison to Cambridge, where there are 2300 residents per councillor, and Nedlands there’s 1700.

“It defies logic and it’s insulting, as well as irresponsible in the current economic climate.”

However, Daglish resident Jude Rowohlt argued that councillor workloads would increase, resulting in residents and ratepayers having fewer councillors to lobby for them on important issues.

“Who will stand up for the disadvantaged residents of Subiaco?” she said.

“We have the issues looming of the State Government Town Planning Act, as well as Subiaco Oval.

“Keeping strong now is vital.”

Cr Mark Burns said he did not want to reduce the number of councillors for a number of reasons.

“No one knows what the new government, or anyone, is going to do,” he said.

“I am not willing to place Subiaco in the hands of others who don’t know what they want.

“It’s not about the fact I want more 11 councillors; I just do not believe in dealing with the unknown in times of political flux.”

Chief executive Don Burnett said another review could go ahead after the bi-annual local government election in October.