CLIFTON Grove resident Jim Whittaker has welcomed Orange City Council’s move to start a working party to gauge feedback from residents in the area, but some councillors are concerned the group could make residents in other suburbs feel left out.
Mayor John Davis spearheaded the push, saying the needs and concerns of the 800 Clifton Grove residents were different to those in town, and similar working groups for residents in Spring Hill and Lucknow had been successful.
“It lifts the profile of Clifton Grove and gives it importance,” he said.
Mr Whittaker will consider putting his name forward as one of the 10 residents that will join councillors Chris Gryllis and Kevin Duffy in the group.
“It would be good if we had input into what was going on out there,” he said.
“We had something similar a while ago and it petered out and then we had the community consultative sessions.”
Cr Reg Kidd said he was “a little bit worried” residents from other areas including Ammerdown would also want their own group.
“Even though there’s lots of residents out there it’s no different to being anywhere else in Orange,” he said.
Cr Kidd said all residents had been given the opportunity to put their name forward for the council’s other committees.
But Cr Davis said Ammerdown was not as isolated from the city.
He said Clifton Grove residents’ concerns were different and could include the effects of flash flooding and fire safety.
Cr Gryllis suggested the council give the committee a trial run, but said he was not in favour of separating Orange into sections.
A Clifton Grove resident, Cr Russell Turner declined his nomination on the committee saying it was better for councillors who did not live in the area to be involved.
“I’ve got no problems with what’s happening in the area but other people might,” he said.
Mr Whittaker said residents were concerned about access ways being blocked by horse agistment in the surrounding bridle trails and reserves.
“Another thing is there are very wide verges on the sides of the roads and they used to get mowed at least annually and now they’re not mowed at all,” he said.
“But I saw a truck spraying poison on them.”
Cr Turner questioned whether the working party would include Clifton Grove residents in Cabonne, suggesting it would “open a can of worms”.
Cr Davis said Cabonne residents would be welcome in the group and both councils had a common interest.