SANDY Allan is keen to give Tamworth Regional Council ratepayers living in outlying parts of the region a voice – that’s why he’s nominated for election on September 8.
Mr Allan, a businessman, and owner of the Weswal Gallery Cafe in Tamworth, is one of 17 candidates who will contest the poll for one of nine seats on Tamworth Regional Council.
Mr Allan said he thinks his knowledge and life experience equips him well for the challenge.
For a number of years Mr Allan has been a member of Manilla Rotary Club and active across a number of facets of the community, organising fundraisers and serving as president of the local bowling lub on five different occasions.
He told The Leader he believed an outlying representative taking up a seat amongst the nine councillors would be beneficial.
“There are a number of issues in the rural parts of the region,” he said.
“Primarily though they relate to roads.”
Mr Allan said accountability was something he felt important for anyone choosing to run for a seat and suggested that because TRC didn’t run under a wards structure, outlying representation would be the best way to get some new ideas to the table.
“Since council became amalgamated so many people have commented to me that council has become ‘Tamworth-centric’,” he said.
Mr Allan said while there had been a lot of talk about the issue of crime in Tamworth there had been less recognition about the “ripple effect” on outlying communities like Barraba and Manilla.
“Yes, Tamworth needs more police, but when resources there are low they are taken away from the smaller townships to fill holes and there is a flow-on effect to towns like Barraba and Manilla,” he said.
Mr Allan said he felt there were a number of opportunities for industry to be expanded around the region tas well.
“If we can encourage business to expand, not just in Tamworth but in outlying townships too, we can further promote the region as a whole,” he said.