Time for new council to get on with the job

Another Cessnock City Council election is done and dusted.

And once again, the Labor party has proved popular with the Cessnock voters, with seven councillors plus the mayor gaining a seat around the table.

Three Liberals and two independents will also have a voice in the chambers.

Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent is hoping they can work in unity to achieve for the community.

He hopes to continue the council’s good record of building approvals and economic development initiatives.

The last council brought the Japanese football team to town and that project continues to reap rewards, with the Newcastle Jets holding a trial game at the sportsground this weekend.

The council recognised the local youth unemployment crisis and held a symposium, from which the Cessnock City Youth Unemployment Project was born.

Plans for a new aquatic centre for Cessnock have progressed, with the decision on whether to build the high-embellishment, fully indoor facility or a combined indoor-outdoor complex to come from the new council.

A decision late in the last term to approve the Newcastle Muslim Association’s application to build a mosque at Buchanan caused some disquiet in the community.

Some residents opposed this decision as they felt the development would impact Buchanan’s rural character and would pose traffic and road safety concerns.

Others took the opportunity to voice their anti-Islamic agenda.

There was talk that the decision might have affected the Labor vote, particularly in Ward D, but this was not to be the case.

Some say that the NSW Liberal Government’s decision to ban greyhound racing turned the voters towards Labor.

With nine new faces around the table, it’s time for the council to focus on the future and move forward.

As any former councillor will tell you, it’s not a cushy gig – you’re on-call to your constituents 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for less than $19,000 a year.

No matter who you voted for, there’s no use complaining now. It’s time to let our councillors get on with the job.

And if you’re still not happy in four years’ time, perhaps you should consider running for the election yourself – or at least attend a council meeting once in a while to see what it’s all about.

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