Armidale Regional Council cancels candidate information session

Armidale Regional Council has cancelled its ex-councillors information night and created a single session for all elections candidates.

It comes just days after ex-councillors Andrew Murat and Herman Beyersdorf vowed to boycott their segregated session, claiming interference from Council’s administration.

A Council spokesman confirmed the decision on Friday.

But said the reason for cancelling the ex-councillors session had nothing to do with Dr Beyersdorf and Mr Murat.  

“As of 5pm on Thursday 15 June 2017, Council had received no registrations for the Monday 19 June 2017 former councillor information session,” he said.

“This session was cancelled with the remaining session on Tuesday 20 June 2017 now open to former councillors and new people interested in nominating as a councillor.”

The move has raised concern among new council candidates, who say they're worried the ex-councillors will dominate the combined session.

“I'm very disappointed in both Herman and Andrew for taking this stand and am concerned myself that the session will be dominated by ex-councillors and therefore of limited usefulness to our new candidates,” election candidate Maria Hitchcock said.

Some new candidates have even indicated they won't attend a session if ex-councillors are present.

New candidate John Galletly said it was just more of the same from the old councillors.

"It’s just the same narrow mindedness of some ex-councillors that has gotten us into this position in the first place," Mr Galletly said.

“And they're still trying to weave their web - it's just pathetic.

“We don’t need a crystal ball to know that the majority of the ratepayers have had a gut full of it.”

Jack Rapley is also standing and said he didn’t see what all the fuss was about.

“I’m going to attend either way, it doesn’t really both me of the old councillors attend or not.”

Eight people have registered for the session so far.