Shared software rethink
DELAYS with a joint computer system have triggered Peppermint Grove, Cottesloe and Claremont councils to reconsider resource sharing using proposed regional subsidiary legislation still sitting in State Parliament.
“All we are doing is resources sharing for efficiencies for our ratepayers, and to take away any chance of a future government to say ‘You’re inefficient’ and force a merger,” Claremont Mayor Jock Barker said.
Claremont could jointly host the IT systems and payment services of the two other councils after July next year.
Mr Barker said the councils could share some parts of their planning schemes and local laws in the future, depending on discussions.
Investigating shared IT gained speed after cancellation of WA’s merger process 16 months ago that triggered a meeting of mayors and chief executives to explore sharing more resources.
In May, Peppermint Grove council agreed that their IT systems could be hosted by Cottesloe.
But the proposal was scuttled after staff movements at Cottesloe, which needed more time to create a computer program to service ratepayers.
Last month, Peppermint Grove and Cottesloe agreed that Claremont would be the eventual IT host and to support the regional subsidiary proposal.
“Claremont has already appointed a business development manager, and will soon be going out to tender for its software requirements,” Peppermint Grove president Rachel Thomas said.
Her councils’ 2015-16 budget includes $125,000 for a shared IT system’s software, IT technology reserve funds and consultants.
Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris said he thought the other councils believed they fitted together and “the efficiency of the group wouldn’t be enhanced by adding Mosman Park”.
Mr Norris said there had been no request for a new IT system at his town, where the administration was “happy” with the current service.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson’s spokesman said a Bill amending the Local Government Act for regional subsidiary councils was introduced to Parliament last November but there was still no expected date for it to go to a vote.