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Council ward does not have shared characteristics

You would have to feel sorry for the council official given the job of drafting a "character statement" for each of the council wards, given that they were not constructed on the basis of shared characteristics. (Character statement may be developed for Council Ward, Peninsula News, 30 Mar 2020).

Gosford West includes everything from the city of Gosford to Patonga, Spencer and Gunderman along the Hawkesbury River and Kulnura up in the north.

Wyong begins about a kilometre north of the Gosford Council Chambers and runs all the way to Wyee and on to Ravensdale in the north.

These are not, in any sense, localities with their own distinct characteristics.

They are the product of a gerrymander, designed to use the requirement for arithmetic equality to give Wyong a majority on the combined council, by sucking electors in the former Gosford Council area into Wyong wards to boost their population - meaning North Gosford residents are told that they are really part of Wyong.

No doubt the council bureaucrats will do what they're told and produce some flatulent, meaningless statements about the "diverse character" of the wards.

What would be really useful is a map of the "planning districts" that the council's town planners wanted to use as the basis for planning, but were overruled by the politicians (i.e. the councillors), who wanted the planning to be organised on the basis of wards (so that they could take credit for it).

Why doesn't the council put these on the website so we can see what the professionals say?

If we really wanted to learn something, we might ask the members of the public to tell us the areas that they identify with, and what character they have.

This would probably generate a lot of concentric circles: the local area, a wider area where they shop and get the train, and an even wider one for occasional visits to the dentist, council, and so on.

That would be a really valuable fund of knowledge, which might help the councillors and their staff to better come to terms with what the locals understand by the local, and what they expect of local government.

I'm not holding my breath: the councillors and the officials are perfectly happy in their own bubble.

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