Blighty wants fa­cil­ity funds

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

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.’’

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