Almost 400 staff from Waverley and Randwick Council met for the first time on Thursday 14 April to start the planning work for a new eastern suburbs council.
The staff all volunteered to be part of 70 Project Action Teams looking at every council function including road maintenance, libraries, childcare, rubbish and recycling, parking, finance, planning and development. The teams have been tasked with analysing the current practices of the councils and recommending a way forward for the new organisation.
The new council would cover the existing Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Council areas combining 1,500 staff and taking in 274,000 residents across Sydney’s eastern suburbs. The new organisation will be the third largest council in Sydney with an annual income of approximately $369M.
The merger is just one of 35 Council Merger Proposals released by the NSW Government late last year and is expected to come into effect in mid 2016.
Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza said the two councils were leading by example.
“Creating a new organisation as complex as a local council is no easy task, but with the enthusiasm and professional approach taken by our staff we are well on our way,” Mayor D’Souza said.
“I sense a genuine excitement in our staff about the possibilities of providing even better services and facilities for our residents and ratepayers.
“I’d like to thank all staff involved in the process – an organisation is only as good as its people and I’m proud of our great staff who serve our community every day,” Mayor D’Souza said.
Waverley Mayor Sally Betts said the councils were conscious of the need to provide continuation of services for residents.
“It is critical if the government decides the amalgamation of our three councils will go ahead that we are able to guarantee to all our residents that they will continue to receive the services they already enjoy from day one of the new council without any disruption. It is fantastic that our staff are working to ensure our services can be merged and improved in a smooth and transparent way.
“Our aim is to l deliver a smooth transition and continue our high-performing and customer-focused culture of putting residents first.
“Hopefully in the near future Woollahra staff will be joining the Waverley and Randwick teams. In the meantime, we will ensure that quality services continue to be delivered to Woollahra residents as well.” Mayor Betts said.
The Project Action Teams will continue to meet regularly over the coming weeks to plan for the merge.
Randwick and Waverley Council are calling for community input into the name of the new council. Residents can also suggest a name for the new council online by visiting www.yoursay.randwick.nsw.gov.au or www.haveyoursaywaverley.com.au.
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