Council chooses childcare option

MAYOR Len Robinson's wishes for Blacktown Council to opt out of childcare have been rejected.

Rather than vote on three options recommended in the council report, councillors supported a five-point alternative proposed by Liberal Karlo Siljeg at last week's policy meeting.

The proposed motion involves setting up an executive leadership team (ELT) to address the performance and operations of the centres.

The proposed team will consist of the mayor, a Liberal councillor, a Labor councillor, independent Russ Dickens, the general manager and relevant council managers.

It will investigate potential sites to establish preschool facilities and present a report to the council in June 2015. The report will set out what the team had achieved over the past year, including a recommendation on the future childcare structure.

Councillor Siljeg believes the council should stay involved in childcare.

"If people are using these services, we need to explore all avenues, which is why an ELT is the way to go," he told the Star.

"From the reports we've been given, the last child care centre was built in 2002 and not much capital has been invested in childcare since.

"What I'm trying to do is remodel the business and look after the needs of ratepayers."

Labor councillor Stephen Bali said the motion was a workable proposition. It will be debated again at tomorrow night's meeting.

"It shows some of the Liberals have been listening to the community," he said.

A rally planned at the Blacktown Village Green will go ahead tomorrow night from 6pm.

Instead of campaigning for the council to remain in child care, attendees will rally for representation on the committee.

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