An Armidale shopfront is where Guyra residents are continuing their battle to split the amalgamated Armidale Regional Council.
Since Armidale and Guyra councils merged more than five years ago, a group of Guyra residents has fought to have the two former councils - Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra Shire - reinstated.
The current effort involves collecting signatures on letters of support, which will be sent to the Minister for Local Government, and after spending months in the Guyra community the residents have now come to Armidale to seek support here.
The signed letters of support will go with the submission to the Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock.
Guyra resident Gordon Youman has been helping drive the effort to demerge and he said they were offered three shopfronts when approaching Armidale businesses. They are currently operating from New England Autos on Barney Street.
Mr Youman said they need 2036 letters of support to see the issue reach the minister's desk, before the next step would be a decision by the Boundaries Commission.
"We believe it's in the interests of both communities to separate," Mr Youman said.
"It's causing division between the two communities. It's like you having a backyard and me having a backyard and we're forced to merge and you lose all the diversity.
"You might like growing carrots, and I like growing tomatoes. The whole place will go ahead if we separate."
The local move comes after another amalgamated council - Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council - applied to the Boundaries Commission to demerge.
"The minister has been sitting on the report for quite a while, but from what we hear, there will be separation there," Mr Youman said.
"The cold hard facts are it's not working. It's failed in 19 of the 20 forced mergers."
Since the forced merger of Armidale and Guyra in 2016, under the state government's Fit for the Future reforms, Armidale Regional Council has accumulated financial losses year-on-year.
The council was rated in the top 10 worst-performing merged councils in the state in 2020, in an independent report by LSI Consulting.
"Out of it we got no representation, and goodness knows what the situation is with Armidale and its debt," Mr Youman said.
He said Guyra has been left with increase rates with no increase in services.
Adam Marshall has previously said he would do everything he possibly could to ensure that any properly formulated proposal put to the minister by the community was referred to the Boundaries Commission for a full, rigorous and independent assessment.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.