- April 18, 2017
- Posted by: Gail Giles-Gidney
- Category: Update
This week I celebrated three years since my election as Mayor of wonderful Willoughby City Council. Thank you to all of my awesome friends and supporters who assisted in my election and continue to support Council activities.
When elected the key areas that I wanted to address were:
- Traffic and parking
- Sport and recreation
- Service delivery
- Chatswood CBD and local shopping
- The Concourse, arts and entertainment
- Protecting our natural and built heritage and bushland
- Strategic direction and financial responsibility
I am proud to say that since my election we have made significant advances in all of these key areas.
Council has adopted a parking strategy, improved parks and ovals, built synthetic turfs, partnered with the Federal Government for Gore Hill improvements, enhanced community services, boosted economic activity in Chatswood and supported local business, introduced Vivid, supported our bushland activities and liaised with the Greater Sydney Commission on planning. Financial responsibility has been a key focus and results have been impressive under a new management team, with annual savings of $2M from the Council wages bill, a significant reduction achieved in our financial debt, and over $100m in cash reserves retained for future generations.
All this while waiting to find out our amalgamated fate. As you will know, in response to the State Government’s request for submissions, Willoughby Council determined a preference to stand alone – or if merged, to merge with only North Sydney – and not to pursue court action and not spent our ratepayers funds on fighting this issue. Today, State Government policy remains to merge Willoughby with North Sydney and Mosman, yet implementation of these plans remains subject to litigation and without a clear timetable. Accordingly, we have been advised that a Local Government election will be held on 9 September 2017, for Willoughby City Council and Mayor in our current form.
While my time as Mayor has already been a huge three years, there is still more work to do. I have been honoured to serve this wonderful community and look forward to the coming months to ensure our incredible community continues to be well represented.