Good luck to Hepburn Shire’s new council

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Longstanding Holcombe ward councillor Bill McClenaghan has lost his seat.
Nanjing Night Net

We won’t be seeing many new faces on Hepburn Shire Council.

There will be only two new names added, with the other five incumbents remaining firmly in place for the coming four years.

Former Birch ward councillor Pierre Niclas decided earlier this year he wouldn’t run again, with his post being won by Daylesford Neighbourhood House manager Fiona Robson.

Cr Robson is coming in with a clear vision –to establish stronger relationships with local service providers like CAFS, Hepburn Health and government departments.

That’s a good thing –with Daylesford seemingly facing a rising homeless epidemic, the more connected the council is in tackling that problem, the better.

Meanwhile, long-serving Holcombe ward councillor Bill McClenaghan has been ousted by challengerJohn Cottrell.

Hecomes in with an impressive resume – Hepburn Health board director, Swinburne University unit convener and PhD candidate and compliance committee member for financial services company Powerwrap Limited.

It will be a big change –after all, Mr McClenaghan has held the position for 11 years.

Cottrell says his main concerns are maintenance of Holcombe ward’s unsealed roads and issues like community space, rates and connectivity.

But one of his biggest challenges coming into the role will be the Glenlyon tower, currently being debated at VCAT.

Glenlyon needs to sort it mobile phone reception, and fast, with a community resolution needed for the tower –which some residents have complained about as an aesthetic blight –as soon as possible.

So while we will only see small changes to Hepburn Shire’s council line-up, they will be –as put by Robson –significant.

This new council will need a lot of luck.

The previous council did a stellar job of actioning project delivery –a known weak spot in Hepburn Shire.

It also conducted itself well in tightening up the council’s finances.

With rate capping coming into the mix, the new council will have fewer funds to play with and less ability to get projects into action.

With less money to work with, they will also have to work out smart ways to ensure service delivery stays in shape.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.