21 July 2012

Council Amalgamations

Miles Kemp  raised this issue again this week in the Advertiser (July 20th). Evidently there is another review concerning the size of Councils as part of a national probe. The driving force in SA is Bob Such who genuinely believes that larger Councils will result in cost savings that will then reduce rates. The previous amalgamations in the late 90's have not resulted in any identified savings to residents. There are plenty of papers supporting the argument that rates would fall but no evidence to suggest that they ever did. Friday's article compares the number of staff to the number of residents: Unley's ration was1:209, with the best results held by Onkaparinga1:267 and the worst Orroroo at 1:39. However, Councils use a range of consultant and contractual services, the more that is outsourced the better the rate is likely to be. As Councillors we are trying to encourage the use of in house services as much as we can, this may well increase the ratio (more staff)  but actually reduce costs. Council also shares resourcing for a number of things including garbage and waste collection, immunization, health services, etc.

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