As Warringah Council pushes for One Northern Beaches Council, citing major savings should Manly, Warringah and Pittwater merge into one mega Council; Manly and Pittwater remain firm that they want to make it alone, stating they meet the criteria, except for population size, to do so.
Warringhah commissioned SGS Economics and Planning Pty Ltd to undertake an analysis on forming one mega Northern Beaches council. Manly & Pittwater commissioned KPMG to put their case that remaining independent was viable. The result has been that both reports tend to contradict each other. So who is right? Well it would seem to depend on which financial basis you have used.
With the assistance of Stephen Beckenridge, FAC; M Tax; MA, Good for Manly has reviewed both reports and a summary is below.
Recently the State Government announced that NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has been appointed with the task of reviewing Council submissions due to lodged by June 30, however the criteria still does not seem clear. For example, are Councils required to have a population of around 250,000 to be "Fit For the Future"?
The real question remains however, what price can you put on true local government? While it can be argued that bigger provides potential cost savings, the true strength of local government is that is it just that, local. By creating mega Councils aren't we effectively just creating another regional, rather than local, administrative body?
What do you think?
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.