The same week the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, announced that there would be no further forced council amalgamations, the Northern Beaches Council launched its new logo and corporate look.
The clever new logo will be rolled out over the next fews months, marking the true beginning of the new Council, with the election of Councillors set for Saturday 9th September.
The timing of the Premier's announcement has proven unsettling for many however, who are now questioning why Manly Council didn't stand-alone and take legal action against the forced merger, as Mosman did.
It is important to remember that at the time of the proposed merger process there was huge community support for one Northern Beaches Council, driven mostly by the concerns of how dysfunctional Manly Council had become under the leadership of Liberal Mayor, Jean Hay.
I attended the public hearings where most people spoke in support of the merger. We were told by the authorities that more than 18,000 submissions had been received from the Northern Beaches, the majority in support of a merger. (It was interesting to note that of a total of 36,000 submissions received for the whole of NSW, half came from the Northern Beaches.)
Personally I believe that the new Northern Beaches Council will serve Manly ratepayers well. I am impressed by the level of professionalism of the new staff and the can-do culture. Good for Manly has already been very successful in getting things done for Manly and we can already see the major advantages of having just one big council.
It is a concern however that as our level of 'local' government, Manly will now have only three out of 15 councillors representing our area. Therefore we need to focus on ways and means of making the bigger council work to our advantage, and I would welcome a productive discussion on how this can be achieve. Any suggestions?
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor, Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations & community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.