LATEST: Longtime councillor Jim Simmons has been overwhelmingly elected as the new mayor of the Clarence Valley Council.

Cr Simmons won the vote 7-2 on a show of hands from Karen Toms.

The surprise was the non-candidacy of Cr Andrew Baker, who had said he would be standing.

Cr Jason Kingsley was elected as the deputy mayor from a field of three. The other candidates were Cr Toms and Cr Greg Clancy.

Outgoing mayor Richie Williamson congratulated Crs Simmons and Kingsley. 

"It's a great privilege and today must be a very proud day for you and your family," he said to Cr Simmons.

"We are in good hands with your election.

"To Cr Kingsley congratulations on your role as deputy. I see our future to be very bright and the immediate future to be in safe and stable hands."

The councillors also decided on the make-up of the two standing committees of the council. 

Crs Simmons, Clancy, Baker, Richie Williamson and Peter Ellem will make up the environment planning and community committee.  

The corporate governance and works committee includes Crs Simmons, Arthur Lysaught, Toms, Kingsley and Debrah Novak.  

Cr Baker attempted to change the time of council meetings to 10am, but his motion lapsed for want of a seconder.  

Speaking against the motion on meeting times, Cr Baker said council needed to move the meeting times forward to more normal business hours.  

Speaking for her motion, Cr Toms said there did not seem to be an appetite to change meeting times among the councillors.  

An urgent motion was then brought forward by Cr Baker to scrap councillor training scheduled for next month. He described the training, to be held on October 6 as a waste of money, and noted it needed to be debated urgently as the October meeting falls after that date.  

Councillors' vote has been held to bring the motion onto the agenda and debate it.  

Cr Baker said his stance on the training was about the ability of all councillors to access unbiased training.

"In particular and only from my point of view at this stage," he said. 

"I am unable to participate in any further training proposed by the training provider, simply because in the one and only training session I attended I was provided with advice I considered to be misleading at best."

Cr Baker said advice given in the same training session resulted in a code of conduct complaint against Cr Toms, which she acknowledged.

He added that the training provider was also the probity auditor for the depot project.

"We don't need to rush into training that I will be denied opportunity to go for," he said.

Cr Toms said on the complaint, a cross claim was dismissed in court in Sydney on Tuesday.  She also said she would not attend the training.

Opposing the motion, Cr Williamson called it a "stitch-up", and said he wouldn't be a part of it. Lysaught also spoke against the motion.

With the support of Crs Novak, Toms, Baker, Ellem and Simmons, the motion was carried.

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5.20PM: THE first meeting of the new Clarence Valley Council has come to an end.

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5.10PM: COUNCILLOR Baker says his stance on the training is about the ability of all councillors to access unbiased training.

"In particular and only from my point of view at this stage," he said. 

"I am unable to participate in any further training proposed by the training provider, simply because in the one and only training session I attended I was provided with advice I considered to be misleading at best."

Cr Baker said advice given in the same training session resulted in a code of conduct complaint against Cr Toms, which she acknowledged.

He added that the training provider was also the probity auditor for the depot project.

"We don't need to rush into training that I will be denied opportunity to go for," he said.

Cr Toms said on the case, a cross claim was dismissed in court in Sydney on Tuesday.  She also said she would not attend the training.

Opposing the motion, Cr Williamson called it a "stitch-up", and said he wouldn't be a part of it. Lysaught also spoke against the motion.

With the support of Novak, Toms, Baker, Ellem and Simmons, the motion was carried.

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5PM: IT HAS been revealed a perceived conflict of interest is behind the motion to delay or scrap scheduled councillor training.

The training provider, as well as providing training for councillors, has in the past investigated a code of conduct complaint for the Clarence Valley Council.

4.45PM: AN URGENT motion has been brought forward by Cr Andrew Baker, to scrap councillor training scheduled for next month.

Cr Baker described the training, to be held on October 6, as an imminent waste of money, and noted it needed to be debated today as the October meeting falls after that date.

A vote has been held to bring the motion onto the agenda and it is now being discussed.

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4.30PM: THE new council has got straight down to business, with Andrew Baker voting against a 4pm start for council meetings.

Cr Baker argued the start was too late in the day.

"Once Big Dog goes to bed everyone seems to get a bit toey," he remarked.

For the motion, Karen Toms said there had not been enough discussion with elected council and could impact negatively.

The motion has been passed.

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4.25PM: OUTGOING mayor Richie Williamson has congratulated Simmons and Kingsley on their appointment in the Clarence Valley Council's leadership roles. 

"It's a great privilege and today must be a very proud day for you and your family," he said to Simmons.

"We are in good hands with your election.

"To Cr Kingsley congratulations on your role as deputy. I see our future to be very bright and the immediate future to be in safe and stable hands."

4.20PM: JASON Kingsley has secured the role of deputy mayor for the next two years. 

There were three nominations for deputy mayor; Kingsley, Toms and Clancy.

Kingsley, Simmons, Baker, Lysaught and  Williamson all voted for Kingsley.

Toms and Novak voted for Toms, and Peter Ellem supported Greg Clancy's bid for deputy.

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4.12PM: COUNCILLOR Jim Simmons has been voted in as mayor by an overwhelming majority. 

Councillors Toms and Debra Novak put their hands up for the appointment of Cr Toms.

All others were in favour of Cr Simmons.

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4.10PM: RICHIE Williamson has moved for the mayoral vote to be held as an open ballot.

 Karen Toms and Jim Simmons have both put forward their nominations for the top job.

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4.02PM: WELCOME to the rolling coverage of the meeting that will decide the Clarence Valley's next mayor.

All nine councillors are present and ready to be sworn in as members of the Clarence Valley Council.

A number of community members are also in attendance.



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