Council urged to let residents have a say over design of $200,000 entry signs

 

Source: Manly Daily

Council urged to let residents have a say over design of $200,000 entry signs to northern beaches

Signs telling motorists they are about to enter the northern beaches are set to be installed, but should ratepayers have been given a say on what they look like?

An artist's impression of the chosen entry marker sign to be installed at three locations in the council area. Picture: Supplied

An artist's impression of the chosen entry marker sign to be installed at three locations in the council area. Picture: Supplied

A decision on the design of three roadside signs alerting motorists that they are entering the northern beaches area has split the council.

The three-metre high “entry makers”, costing up to a total of $200,000, were designed by a signage company, but one councillor said ratepayers should have been given a say in how they look.

They will be installed next month on Manly Rd, north of the Spit Bridge; Warringah Rd, north of the Roseville Bridge and; Mona Vale Rd at Belrose.

An artist's impression of three of the rejected designs for "entry marker" signs, costing a total of $200,000. The signs will alert drivers that they are entering the Northern Beaches Council area. Picture: Supplied

An artist's impression of three of the rejected designs for "entry marker" signs, costing a total of $200,000. The signs will alert drivers that they are entering the Northern Beaches Council area. Picture: Supplied

At its last meeting, the council voted to adopt the recommended final design for the entry markers that council staff said would “promote a sense of pride and belonging within our local community and welcome people to the area”.

Staff said the design also reflected the northern beaches identity and contained the words “recognising traditional custodians”.

An artist's impression of one of the three "entry marker" signs, costing a total of $200,000. Picture: Supplied

An artist's impression of one of the three "entry marker" signs, costing a total of $200,000. Picture: Supplied

The money to design, fabricate and install the three curved metallic signs has been provided by the NSW Government as part of its New Council Implementation Fund, created to assist newly amalgamated local councils.

Singleton Moore Signs, based at Kirrawee in Sydney’s south won the tender and submitted its final design to council based on feedback from the council’s Participation and Partnership Strategic Reference Groups.

But Liberal Cr Rory Amon, backed by four other Liberal councillors, wanted to defer the adoption of the final design so council staff could prepare a proposal for a community-design competition.

Cr Amon said the best of the community designs could then be put out to a public online vote.

“If we don’t put it out for their say then all we do is leave ourselves open, as a council, to criticism for not consulting.

“We should put it out to them, let them have their say, let them design it.”

Cr Amon said if the community does not like that design, the only people “they can blame are their fellow community members” and not “15 councillors sitting around a table”.

Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham urged the council to immediately adopt the final design provided by the tenderer.

Deputy mayor Candy Bingham urged council to leave the design of the signs to professionals, not the community. Picture: Adam Yip

Deputy mayor Candy Bingham urged council to leave the design of the signs to professionals, not the community. Picture: Adam Yip

“It is three years since (council) amalgamation and we still don't have entry signs at key points,” she said.

“We can’t expect the community to come up with designs that can be built within the budget.

“Let’s not waste another 12 months deciding on something that, frankly, should have been done years ago.”

Cr Amon’s community design competition was rejected by the council.


 

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