Hope fades as public calls to sack council

By YVONNE McLEAN

ARGUABLY one of the council's most popular councillors (and popular way beyond her own division), Dawn Crichlow said she believed the council was now unworkable.

"I do not want to lose my job but ultimately I fear this will happen because council is dysfunctional," Cr Crichlow said.

"There is so much vindictiveness there. We can't even sit down and discuss the budget as a team. I can't see attitudes changing.

"For a start, the prosecutions or threatened prosecutions of a couple of councillors by their peers should be withdrawn if peace can prevail and this is not likely to happen. So where do we go?"

Cr Peter Young, whose so-called dossier on election irregularities helped spark the CMC Inquiry, said there was now proof the probe was justified.

"There was and still is a lot of dissent in the community since the election," he said.

"There may have not been a lot of breaches of the Local Government Act in terms of the day-to-day operation in council, but the inquiry has revealed that the people were misled before the last election. It is obvious that technical breaches do not go to the heart of the problem and many changes to the Local Government Act have to be made."

Cr Eddy Sarroff said the CMC report had served the public interest. That, after all, was its purpose.

"But council itself must change if public confidence is to be restored," he said.

"We have to stop the animosity, the personal dislike that exists. The community confidence is not helped by councillors suing their colleagues. They are elected members willing and able to take on responsibilities and they should be given more chance. Council itself must play the role of enhancing its image."

Meanwhile, protestors with placards returned to the city council's foyer this week chanting as they stood: "Sack the council, sack the council."

There were six local organisations represented and among the small number all claimed their main protest was about council's lack of credibility.

Linda Brown, a 2004 election candidate, was among them and she said she was shocked and angered by the CMC revelations over funding deals.

Placards included those supporting councillors Susie Douglas and Peter Young, both confronting litigation instigated by their peers.



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