The Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the return of Central Coast Council meetings to the Gosford chambers after months of “disconnect with southern ratepayers”.
Administrator Dick Persson announced meetings would revert to alternating between the Wyong and Gosford chambers, with the first meeting since early this year conducted in Gosford on November 30.
The decision means Peninsula residents wanting to attend meetings will no longer have to take the long trek to Wyong every time.
“There is no doubt that both the business community and ratepayers on the Peninsula were disappointed when Central Coast Council decided to conduct all Council meetings from the Wyong Council Chambers earlier this year”, Chamber President Matthew Wales said.
“It created a real disconnect and (gave) the impression that the Council was Wyong centric.
“It a long hike to travel up to Wyong on Council meeting nights especially when you have a recently renovated Council Chambers right here in Gosford with all the security features in place.
“After all, we continually hear that Gosford is the capital of the Central Coast, yet everything appeared to operate out of Wyong.
“Thankfully it appears that the new Administrator is paying more attention to the people of the Central Coast than the collective councillors were.
“The Chamber is looking forward to the Administrators initial report on what went so horribly wrong with the Councils’ finances.
“So sensible decisions like this bode well for the immediate future of this Council.”
Councillors voted early this year to host all meetings at Wyong, citing fears for their safety.
Then followed months of online meetings in the face of COVID-19 restrictions.
With COVID safe measures still in place, limited seating will be available at the meetings and residents will need to pre-register to attend on the day of the meeting.
Ordinary meetings are generally held fortnightly on Monday evenings, with Extraordinary Meeting convened from time to time and publicly notified.
With the mayor and councillors currently suspended, the interim Administrator will make decisions on behalf of the community at council meetings.
Agendas and minutes for meetings can be found on Council’s website.
Meetings are also streamed live.
The last meeting for the year will be held on December 14 at the Wyong chambers, with meetings resuming on January 25 at the Gosford chambers.
Meetings begin at 6.30pm and are preceded by an Open Forum at 5.30pm where speakers can talk on any Council-related matter and a Public Forum at 6pm, where speakers can talk on any item on that night’s agenda.
Prospective speakers must register by 10am on the day of the meeting on Council’s website.