Angela Vithoulkas and The Small Business Party are contesting the upcoming City of Sydney local council elections on Saturday September 4, 2021.
Angela is also running to be the next Lord Mayor of Sydney.
She was first elected as Councillor in 2012 and again in 2016, so she has almost a decade of experience on how council operates from the inside out.
Let’s Save Small Business,
Protect Our Families and
Support Our Local Communities
“I have spent the last 10 years supporting local businesses, their families and local communities. It’s more than just my job, it’s my purpose. It means placing value, trust and love on those who are protagonists of our economy – the heart and soul of our country. It is for them that I will always fight.
I believe the key is creating a real support network for local commerce to save small businesses from the economic crisis caused by COVID19 and for that I need your help.
To make a difference, it’s essential to have dedication, perseverance and unity – you have to be in it for long term benefits not just short-term payoffs. This is my commitment. I will always be here for those who are rarely heard and give them an effective and deliberate voice. If you’re part of a small business or believe in the importance of small business in our community, don’t give up on the power of working together, let’s win our right to be a formidable influence on our economy.”
I promise to get council working for you.
Our 7 Point Plan to Reimagine How Your Local Government Should Work for You
1. Let’s Put A Cap On Lord Mayoral Terms – Maximum of 3 consecutive terms, 12 years.
For the health of the community and council, future Lord Mayors should be limited to three terms in office. This will ensure an environment that fosters a dynamic and forward-thinking city.
There is a reason that the world’s largest and most powerful democracy has a limit on presidential terms. Part of that is that ‘absolute power corrupts, absolutely’ and while no aspersions are being made about the current Lord Mayor being corrupt in a criminal sense, it could be a concern with future mayors. We must think of the future and safeguard our city, regardless of who is Lord Mayor, it was never intended to be a permanent position.
Clover Moore has been a City of Sydney Councillor for 39 years (since 1982) and Lord Mayor since 2004, that’s 17 years so far.
A maximum of 3 consecutive terms would only allow a future Lord Mayor to serve 12 years.
A term limit would require changes to the City of Sydney Act 1988 to effectively limit Lord Mayoral terms to a maxim of 12 years. A three-term limit would also be compatible with the compulsory 10-year financial plan all NSW councils are legally required.
There would be no term limit on councillor’s under this plan.
2. Public ‘Questions without Notice’ Meetings to be held Monthly
As an important element of representation and supporting transparent democratic processes the introduction of ‘questions without notice’ meetings would allow the public to ask questions of councillors, either in person or via a video conferencing application.
Many councils across the state already allow this but incorporate it as part of a council meeting.
While the City of Sydney is more complicated than most councils it also has more resources than others and such a forum is achievable.
The current council makes a lot of noise about consultation, yet the City of Sydney does not even take questions without notice from elected Councillors. Our community deserves the opportunity to understand and influence the process of decision making.
The monthly sessions would be standalone events, separate to regular council meetings and accessible to the public.
3. Establishing a Dedicated Small Business Planning and Compliance Unit
Small business owners and start-ups are finding the existing processes in place for planning and compliance to be confusing and onerous. Layered onto that it can feel adversarial and difficult to get to the right help or answers.
Why are our small business entrepreneurs made to feel like the enemy?
While dealing with development applications, compliance with council regulations and rules and applying for permits is all part of doing business, it should not be fraught with unnecessary red tape and unreasonable responses.
To resolve these issues the establishment of a unit comprising of several council officers whose dedicated role is to assist small business in navigating these matters would be formed. It would, by its very nature of helping to simplify the experiences of complying with processes, save costs incurred by council and save small businesses.
4. Establishing a Small Business Emergency Team
The Small Business Emergency Team would help local businesses in emergency situations navigate and find support from government and other agencies, and potentially relief from council costs and charges.
The team would be dedicated to assisting small business facing crisis situations such as we have seen with COVID-19 regulations and lockdowns, infrastructure disruptions, natural disasters and security issues.
This is not modelled after a call centre, where contact numbers and names are issued. This is to be a specially trained team to directly assist small businesses facing any trading emergency.
A healthy business community and environment is vital and essential to the running of this city.
80% of the City of Sydney rates are collected from businesses and that benefits all of the community, especially residents.
5. Establishing a Community Liaison Unit
Residents and the general public, like small business, can also feel frustrated and powerless when trying to find the right information, answers or assistance.
To help resolve these issues a Community Liaison Unit, staffed by people whose sole role is to aid residents with household and neighbourhood issues such as parking, traffic, infrastructure and rates would address these concerns.
The formation of such a dedicated specialty unit would allow council staff to deal with specific areas and to serve ratepayers easily and more effectively.
6. A Mental Health And Wellbeing Unit
Mental health is one of our greatest challenges, we already know how bad it is. It is time we focused on a new solution for this growing crisis around mental health in our communities.
Our people, including the City’s employees, families and small business communities are suffering. We need proactive solutions like financial support, free financial counselling and free health and wellbeing programs to assist our residents, local business owners and staff.
7. A City of Sydney Youth Council and Youth Mayor
To continue the focus on democracy and representation the establishment of a parallel ‘Youth Council’ would promote and enhance political engagement among young people.
Giving youth a voice and ownership of the political process supports the next generation to be engaged (and part of) what’s happening in our neighbourhoods. The establishment of a parallel ‘Youth Council’ will create a sense of belonging and connection, that has long term benefits for the entire community.
The ‘Youth Council’ would be overseen by dedicated and suitably trained City of Sydney Council staff, hold regular meetings much like the actual council and be derived from schools across the Local Government Area.
A representative from the ‘Youth Council’ would speak at regular council meetings and could deliver advisory reports.
Not only will the youth council foster engagement, it will promote education about government bodies and processes and provide a forward thinking platform for inclusivity, diversity and the voice of our children.
Meet the Small Business Party Candidates
Paul Crossin is an experienced business executive with a career spanning over 30 years in most states of Australia and internationally.
Specialising in new business creation and change management, Paul’s industry experience includes home building and construction, banking and payments, IT, hotels, charities and industry development.
Paul joined The Small Business Party in response to the devastation of small businesses caused by corona virus.As the major source of employment in Sydney, and the key to future prosperity of communities, it is essential that small business is given every opportunity to re-build. Rebuilding starts with local government and Paul will be working through The Small Business Party to improve that relationship.
Support for Angela
Angela is a successful small business woman who knows the challenges of surviving in the Sydney market.She has a strong reputation in advocating for small business through 10 years as a Councillor she knows how the system works. I am supporting Angela because she is the best person, in the best position, to affect change at Council that will be necessary for small business as we come out of the corona virus environment.
The 7-Point Plan of the Small Business Party is targeted at putting the people in charge of the direction of Council and is deliverable. I am backing Angela to deliver on that plan and in doing so support the regeneration of Sydney post-corona.