Tweed Deputy Mayor Barry Longland.
Tweed Deputy Mayor Barry Longland.

Jostling for mayoralty

DEPUTY Tweed mayor Barry Longland has confirmed he will stand for the position of mayor next week - but in yet another twist to the political saga, revealed he thinks current mayor Joan van Lieshout would “make a good deputy”.

“I've given it a lot of thought over the past few days and I've come to the conclusion I will nominate,” said the retired Federal Government accountant and auditor, who is one of the seven councillors elected last September.

“I've spent a year as deputy mayor and been involved in a lot of the representational activity that falls to the mayor.”

Cr van Lieshout is tipped to be dumped as mayor at the annual vote for the position on Tuesday

Yesterday, she conceded it was “doubtful” she would be re-elected as mayor, but said: “It's a long-time til Tuesday. Who knows,” she said.

“I got in quite miraculously really. What will be is what is meant to happen.”

She would not reveal who she might support as her replacement, adding: “I have had quite a horrendous year with my colleagues. That will be quite a big decision on my part.”

Cr Longland said he understood “there's a leadership role for the mayor in promoting a cohesive team approach among the seven councillors”.

But he was at pains to dispel a perception by some of his colleagues that he is a Labor Party sympathiser.

“I've never been a member of any political party,” he said.

Cr Dot Holdom yesterday confirmed she would not support Cr van Lieshout.

She was keeping mum about who she might prefer, but added she was not interested either in the mayor's position or the deputy's.

Cr Kevin Skinner has also confirmed he will not be seeking the deputy role.

Cr Phil Youngblutt revealed he would “probably put my hat in the ring for deputy mayor” because he would like to be “a bit more involved”.

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