He’s a first-termer on the current Tamworth Regional Council, but by no means is he a newcomer. Glenn Inglis was a long time boss of the former Parry Shire Council and TRC. At one point he became a bit of a gun-for-hire serving as GM for several councils around the region. As a councillor since 2016, he’s earned a reputation as fastidious and forensic picking apart hefty council reports, with the ability to cut-through bureaucratic waffle that can sometimes disguise or obfuscate issues.
Widely regarded as one of the thriftiest council managers ever known, Inglis is always looking for the value for money.
So much so set the high bar for staff who went down the street to get lunch – he reportedly held the record at one bread roll plus tomato for the price of about $1.15.
But a great boss, fair and with integrity and a great strategic mind, but also approachable for all staff – particularly outdoor staff, that was a legacy of his old Parry days and the Parry council crew were a really close knit mob with lots of social events that involved partners outside of the shire.
He bought some of that culture with him in the amalgamation, although the old TCC council staffers had a good social network but not so much with outdoor people.
He’s always looking at the mix of big and small picture stuff, forensic in his council paper reading, and always with an eye on the future – not just two years down the track, but the long term of Tamworth in more than 10 years.
In 2016, he ran for his first elected position on council, on a ticket with former mayor James Treloar.
He was elected without his running-mate, but he said his visions was the same as his time as a general manager.
The newly-elected councillor said that local government has consumed his entire working life, but next Tuesday will be the first time he will sit on the other side of the table as an elected representative.
Cr Inglis’ connection to local government in the region dates back to 1993 when he was appointed general manager of the former Parry Shire.
Now he will work with some familiar faces on TRC in Phil Betts and Russell Webb, former Parry councillors.
“The vision I had is the same I had when I was general manager,” Cr Inglis told The Leader.
“A favourite for me is long-term regional strategic planning and seeing Tamworth cement itself as the regional city of the North West. I believe in the power of regional economies, I have a big interest in that area and also financial management and sustainability.”
Cr Inglis was the first general manager of Tamworth Regional Council when it was amalgamated with Parry, Nundle, Barraba and Manilla shires in 2004.
Since resigning in 2010, Cr Inglis started his own business and was appointed to the Independent Local Government Review panel, which helped inform “many of the recent amendments to the Local Government Act”.
The new councillor ran on a group ticket with council stalwart James Treloar, who missed out on re-election. Cr Inglis said he was disappointed his running mate didn’t get in.
“I’m disappointed for Warren Woodley and James Treloar, with such long service and both former mayors. I would certainly think it would be important for council to think and recognise their service,” he said.
In recent years, Cr Inglis had become a council ‘gun for hire’ serving as an interim GM for Narrabri, Tenterfield, Armidale-Dumaresq and Uralla shires.
Despite this far-ranging experience he said councils should be cautious about copying ideas. “In local government you learn a lot but it doesn’t matter where you go, everywhere is different,” Cr Inglis said said. “People are quick to assume if it has worked elsewhere it’ll work here, but every community is different.”
Cr Inglis said there “won’t be a problem” between himself and current GM Paul Bennett.
“The best councils are the ones that operate as a team,” Cr Inglis said. “That’s the goal.”
- With Ann Newling