Blighty wants facility funds
Residents in the outlying areas of the new Edward River Council want assurances their recreational facilities will be looked after, according to Blighty’s Sandra McCallum.
They also want to ensure there is ‘Conargo Shire’ representation on the merged entity’s elected council in the future, it was revealed at a community meeting on Thursday night at the Blighty Hall.
The NSW Government merged Deniliquin and Conargo Shire councils on May 12, as part of its Fit for the Future reforms.
The new council started a series of community meetings to explain the changes on Wednesday last week at Conargo Village.
Mrs McCallum was one of several residents of the former Conargo Shire to speak at the community meeting in Blighty on Thursday night.
Attracting about 25 ratepayers, the meeting was led by ERC administrator Ashley Hall.
‘‘One of the main concerns was about Blighty’s recreation reserve facilities,’’ Mrs McCallum said.
‘‘Conargo Shire put at least $50,000 into the reserve each year, and I said that’s something we would like to see continue under the new council. The reserve is used nearly every day and I hope it will be maintained.
‘‘The other main concern for former Conargo Shire residents is if we will have representation on the new council.’’
Edward River Council is expected to be made up of nine councillors, with elections to be held in September next year.
With no wards set out as part of the new Edward River Council, Mrs McCallum said it would be left up to the public to determine which areas are represented.
‘‘We hope we can get some former Conargo Shire councillors on the new council,’’ she said.
Mr Hall said the issues raised at Blighty’s meeting almost echoed those at Conargo the previous night.
‘‘Similar to Conargo, we had people asking questions about whether service delivery would be maintained,’’ Mr Hall said.
‘‘I discussed our joint operational plan and I mentioned that we would be conducting a service audit to see what will be required of the council going forward.’’
Mr Hall said there was also a request from the community for ERC to expand its communication reach.
‘‘We’re getting a communications strategy in place and we have engaged Sauce Communications to look at those strategies and also re-branding for the new council.’’