Many happy to stay now as ‘merged’

Story appeared in: Review | August 6th, 2018

MORE than two years since the creation of the Cumberland Council, the Review took to the streets of Merrylands during Local Government Week to find out how people felt their council was doing.
For many people, local government remains about "rates, rubbish and roads", with many residents saying they were indifferent to the council mergers.
A primary school teacher, who did not want to be identified, said the extent of her interaction with the council, was limited to having her bins collected each week.
"They do that alright, I don't really know what it was like before now," she said.
However she added that while she had only been living in Merrylands for a few months, her own experience showed that it was often faster to solve problems in smaller groups than in large ones and she was in favour of smaller councils.
With some in the community "maintaining the rage" following the forced amalgamations in May 2016 which led to the birth of Cumberland, we also asked what people thought about the possibility of a "demerge" at some point in the future.

Genet Abebe, Merrylands resident for 22 years: "It was really good, I did see a difference with rubbish on the side of the road. I think they should just keep it like it is, keep it holistic as Cumberland, I didn't really know the difference."

Steve Kane, Parramatta resident for 25 years: "I think merging was a positive but I haven't looked at it closely to see the outcomes and what the results really were. No, I don't think they should demerge. The logic of making boundaries based on what happened 100 years ago does my head in."

Beverley Silk, Merrylands resident for 16 years: " I didn't think (the mergers were) a good idea at the time. There was a lot of fear. But since it's happened, I haven't heard anything really bad. Going back to the way it was might be good, I don't know. I haven't been here as long as some but I know residents who have been here for many, many years, want to retain the values of the area. I think the speed of change has knocked some people around."

Solomon Makida, Merrylands resident seven months: "I don't use the council much, I have used the library a few times and that's good. I think its a good idea to merge councils and a bad idea to demerge."

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Publication: Review | Section: News | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 139184 | Viewcount: 551