2016 council elections: New leaders emerge as region's councils reconvene

DECISION TIME: The region has chosen its councils, now the elected representative will choose their leaders in coming weeks. Photo: Gareth Gardner 090916GGG06

DECISION TIME: The region has chosen its councils, now the elected representative will choose their leaders in coming weeks. Photo: Gareth Gardner 090916GGG06

THE winds of change are blowing through the region’s councils, with the mayoral chains making moves in the North West.

Narrabri elected a new mayor as the new-look council moves forward.

Cathy Redding takes over the mayoral role from Conrad Bolton, who did not stand for re-election, after winning council’s support over Robert Kneale.

Narrabri’s new mayor will be deputised by Cameron Staines who defeated Lloyd Finlay for the job in a ballot on Tuesday.

Gunnedah Shire Council elected first-time councillor Jamie Chaffey to the mayoral throne on Wednesday night.

Cr Chaffey has risen through the ranks rapidly, taking over the role of Gunnedah mayor from Owen Hasler.

Cr Chaffey beat out Colleen Fuller for the top job, by five votes to four.

Gae Swain will serve as Gunnedah’s deputy mayor after beating challenges from Rob Hooke and Cr Fuller for the role.

On the Tablelands, however, Uralla Shire has opted for stability in their council’s leadership.

Michael Pearce takes the reins for the next four years, after becoming the first popularly-elected mayor in the region.

There could be more changing faces among the leadership duos of the region’s councils next week, more newly elected councils meet for the first time.

Walcha will have a new mayor and deputy when they meet the next Wednesday, after incumbents Janelle Archdale and Scott Schmutter did not seek re-election.

Tamworth Regional Council will meet on Tuesday evening, where their nine councillors will be sworn-in, including three newbies in Charles Impey, Glenn Inglis and Jim Maxwell.

It is expected Col Murray will be returned as mayor unopposed, but his deputy Russell Webb will be challenged by Mark Rodda and potentially Helen Tickle and Jim Maxwell.

Tenterfield Shire Council will reconvene on Wednesday, where current mayor Peter Petty has confirmed he will throw his hat in the ring for re-election.

Inverell Shire Council will meet on Wednesday, September 28 and Gwydir council will meet on Thursday.

Meanwhile, residents on the Liverpool Plains will be forced to wait a bit longer to find out their leaders, after council rescheduled their meeting for Monday, October 10.

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