Council meeting days reduced
By PETER CATON
TWEED Shire Council's administrators have been accused of treating the area as as "a backwater" which is too far from Sydney and too difficult to visit frequently.
The accusations have been levelled by ousted mayor Warren Polglase in the wake of a decision by administrators to reduce the number of meetings next year.
However some community groups are not bothered.
Kingscliff Ratepayers and Progress Association president Pete Gladwin said his organisation was prepared to give the new arrangements a go - provided the administrators "remain accessible".
The administrators, Garry Payne, Lucy Turnbull and Max Boyd voted at their last meeting of 2005 on Wednesday to reduce the number of meetings to just 16 throughout 2006.
The meetings will only be held every three weeks, meaning there will only be one meeting in the months of March, April, June, August, October and December.
The meetings will also be held on Tuesdays, rather than the traditional Wednesday. And the next meeting won't be until February 7.
Mr Payne defended the decision, saying fewer meetings would provide the opportunity for administrators to consult more.
Mr Polglase said elected councillors had always met in January.
"We always had a meeting in the third or fourth week of January because a tremendous backlog builds up," he said.
Mr Polglase said it was important to keep the business of council running over December and January because delays in decisions could cost many people money.
"For example, if you have a young couple renting a house and wanting to build, if an issue arises and the application for building approval has to be referred to council, they could face eight weeks of extra rent and frustration."
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