Ryde’s Mayor shares plans to avoid amalgamation at RBF luncheon

Clr Pickering

Clr Bill Pickering addressing RBF members and guests

Clr Bill Pickering, Mayor of Ryde, was the guest speaker at Ryde Business Forum’s final luncheon for the year, held at Altantis Restaurant on 20 November.

He spoke about the threat of amalgamation which would see the current City of Ryde divided into two, with already large councils getting a share of Ryde and its business wealth. Clr Pickering stated that Ryde, together with other local councils including Hunter’s Hill and Lane Cove, were assessing their areas of excellence with the aim of sharing facilities but maintaining independence.

“If we amalgamate councils which are already poor, all we will end up with is one big, poor Council. We have to investigate where each Council has its strengths and build and share those strengths,” the Mayor said.

Cr Pickering gave all guests a handout which he talked through.

Ryde has to deliver income generating assets in order to become “Fit for the Future”. These include:

  • Assessing and optimise income generation from current assets
  • Voluntary Planning Agreement with developers
  • Avoid cost shifting associated with Community Benefit Contributions
  • Shared services arrangement with neighbouring Councils
  • Sale of old laneways used in the past by sewer carts

Council is working on its Fit for the Future proposal to the NSW Government, which has to be submitted in June next year.

RBF thanks Clr Pickering for taking the time to talk our members and guests and answer questions from the floor. We look forward to welcoming him again as a guest speaker in 2015 to give us an update on progress in Ryde.