Shire of Toodyay councillor resigns, another breaches local government standards

The Shire of Toodyay is in upheaval with the resignation of one of its councillors and the censure of another.

Councillor Bill Manning announced his resignation earlier this month, which will take effect on September 30.

Cr Manning was only elected last year in the Central Ward boundary and his term was due to run until 2021.

Shire of Toodyay president Brian Rayner confirmed the vacancy would be filled at the biannual council elections in October, but did not offer further comment on the councillor's decision.

Cr Manning said his resignation was due to the council's decision to abolish the wards and retain all nine councillors, which happened in January.

"Because we've done away with the wards, I think all councillors should be elected by the whole of the shire," he said.

"I think the right thing to do for the four councillors who still have two years to run after October, is to also resign and stand for election if they choose to.

"That would mean the whole shire would get to choose all nine councillors."

Six of the nine council seats will be up for election in October while the remaining councillors will retain their seats until 2021.

As yet none of the other Toodyay councillors have indicated they will follow Cr Manning's lead and resign from their terms early.

Cr Manning's resignation is the most recent of a series of challenges the shire has faced over the past year.

Earlier this year the shire was forced to defend itself after its record keeping was audited by the department of the WA Auditor General.

The shire's record keeping practices were found to be poorly implemented and areas for concern were highlighted in a report.

Fellow Toodyay councillor Benjamin Bell has received a notice of censure by the Local Government Standards Panel for a breach of the Local Government Regulations in a Facebook post.

The censure is the result of one of five separate legal actions taken against Mr Bell by the Toodyay chief executive Stan Scott.

The Avon Valley Advocate was unable to reach Mr Bell for comment.

It was reported last month that shire president Rayner stood by the council's decision to extend chief executive Stan Scott's contract for 12 months, back-flipping on a decision made in March.