Local Government Advisory Board to decide on Subiaco’s future ward and councillor representation structure

Subiaco mayor Penny Taylor.
Subiaco mayor Penny Taylor.

CITY of Subiaco has failed to reach an agreement on the number of wards and councillor representation in their city, leaving the final say in the hands of the Local Government Advisory Board (LGAB).

Councillors supported Cr David McMullen’s Elected Members Motion at a meeting on Tuesday night to inform the LGAB that Council could not agree on a changed number of councillors and wards.

The City also agreed to provide the LGAB with results from the 2018 wards and representation consultation process, council meeting minutes and discussion paper.

Council failed to reach a unanimous decision and support an officer’s recommendation to reduce the number of councillors from eleven to eight and retain a four ward structure.

Cr McMullen then moved his first Elected Members Motion of the night, to endorse support towards a 12-person council plus the Mayor, but the motion was lost.

“Twelve councillors would help with good governance – if there’s not enough people representing, things it will get missed,” Cr Julie Matheson said.

Cr McMullen then moved a second Elected Members Motion that eventually passed, which left the issue of wards and representation in the hands of the LGAB.

“This is council saying we were unable to reach an absolute majority and this is what happened between 12 people around the table,” he said.

“It’s merely a direction and it has no objection from officers, and I hope as a council we can direct staff on what to say the LGAB.”

Cr Stephanie Stroud said council should take responsibility for not making a decision, as council had given it a “good shot”.

“We’re all disappointed but it shows our maturity and we do need to take some ownership of this decision and this is the way to do it,” she said.

Chief executive Rochelle Lavery said the LGAB will now review the work the City has done, but there was no guarantee the board would make changes to the current council structure.

“The LGAB may or may not make a recommendation – it’s up to them,” she said.