How much local government representation is too much? That is the question that both you and your elected members are currently being forced to consider?
Council is now in the final phase of a local government representation review. A review required every 8 years under the Local Government Act. A review also, that we MUST consult with you, over two distinct periods.
A local government representation review requires us to consider many issues related to how you should be represented. Things such as what name should the council be called. Should we have wards, and if so how many and what should they be called. Whether or not our Mayor should be elected by the people or appointed by the members of the Council.
The main focus of the Act requires us to consider how many members there should be after the next election. To ensure equal representation from Ward to Ward, the next focus of the Act is to determine where the Ward boundaries should be located.
We are currently asking you if you are happy to change from our current 13 member (including the Mayor) down to 11.
That is ten members in 5 wards plus the Mayor, as shown below. The current model is 12 members in 6 wards.
This, after previously asking you to give us your preference between these two models and two others and the existing model. A multiple-choice as it were.
One of those choices was to reduce membership down to 9 councilors in 3 wards plus the Mayor. A model Jennie & I both supported, believing we could fulfill our obligations. A model however that is not being tested now.
Just over twenty ratepayers responded to the first period of consultation. Their preferred model, taking second preferences into account, was for the 5 x 2 member solution.
This we are now asking if you would be happy with. A model to that also got up on elected member second preferences.