(Editorial Note). The below is a 'public service announcement' authored soley by Candy Bingham, an Independent Candidate for Manly Mayor in 2012. We hope to deliver further such announcements from all other candidates including the encumbent Mayor Jean Hay. As a politically neutral communications channel Our Manly feels it particularly important that the Manly voting public makes an informed decision about who runs our local govt. office. We encourage you to vote - and to be informed about what is at stake for the rather special & beautiful area of Manly when you do!
Announcement - Candy Bingham - Good for Manly.
I’ve lived in Manly most of my life. I love the community, the lifestyle and all the wonderful opportunities this amazing part of the world provides.
And yet, everyday I see opportunities that are being missed, more rules and less access to public information, and a community that has become disengaged.
That’s why I’ve decided to take the the opportunity to stand for election as Mayor of Manly at the next Council elections on 8th September.
Regardless of what you think of State & Federal government, at local Council level there is an exciting opportunity to get things done, to make change and to make a difference.
New Independent Group - Good for Manly Association
Last year we formed the Good For Manly Association, a non-partisan community group that has been active in inviting locals to “join the conversation” about what they love about Manly and what they would like to see changed.
Our focus is community engagement (which fortunately, happens to be my background after 25 years in public relations and marketing). Getting the balance right between the wants of residents, local workers and tourists isn’t easy – especially when Manly now hosts around 8 million visitors a year.
The Issues facing Manly
For local residents the issues include better transport links; the northern beaches hospital & other health services; local jobs; protection of the local environment, affordable housing and access to local shops.
I think that Manly is at a critical point in its history. It’s essential that we maintain the amazing history we have in our buildings, laneways and stories and yet we also need to continue to renew our offering. No new development means no growth – San Francisco is a good example of how to stagnate a wonderful city by stifling development.
Fresh Approach for Manly Council
At the moment Manly has a number of key sites about to be redeveloped, the Royal Far West Children’s Scheme site opposite the beachfront; the old Seaforth TAFE site which Council has purchased; and the prospect of an 800 space car-park built under Manly Oval – to name just a few.
Each of these projects has the potential to change the face of Manly forever.
Council’s recent vision, the 2015 Plan for Manly, has pretty well fizzled out with locals generally feeling that it was just the repackaging of old ideas (including the car park under the oval, which had been raised and rejected a number of times).
New Ideas for Manly
The Good for Manly team is looking at how the Manly Cove area could be revitalised, including the rebuilding of a proper harbour pool; we are examining ways to provide safe community and commuter cycling in Manly – from more and better designed bike racks to designated bike trails and lanes.
The provision of free Wi-Fi in The Corso and the development of an arts precinct are also on the list as are a number of other great initiatives which we can’t reveal just yet!
We also support a number of innovations to protect the environment such as smoke-free beaches, no boats in Cabbage Tree Bay Marine Reserve and the possible introduction of a container deposit scheme to reduce the amount of waste left behind.
Although I haven’t served previously on Manly Council, I have an extensive background in business, not-for-profit and local government; I’ve served as the Chair of Little Manly Precinct for two years; was a member of the Council’s Traffic Committee and I’m a Coastal Ambassador. I was also Lady Mayoress of Sydney from 1989–1991.
But more importantly – I love Manly and its community and I am excited about the possibility of revitalising this unique part of Sydney.
Get Involved - Have your say -
Tell us what you love about Manly and what you’d like to change.
Candy Bingham is active in community engagement via her website blog @ www.goodformanly.com.au