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Occupation and Public meeting

Occupation and Public meeting

Citizens Against Privatisation Occupy Waitakere City Council Offices 9th July

CAP is calling on the community to attend a public meeting on Thursday 17th July at 7:30pm at Kelston Community Centre, corner of Great North Rd and Awaroa Rd.

After Waitakere Council reneged on its promise to review water charges after the Long Term Council Community Plan consultations CAP members occupied the City Council chambers and issued the demands contained in the opened letter below. After protesters established themselves on a second floor balcony and chained the doors shut a lively picket ensued. The police were called though no arrests were made. Eventually CAP met with Mayor Bob Harvey, Deputy Caroline Stone and Chief executive Harry O Rourke. Our demands were discussed and assurances were given that WCC representatives would address the meeting and that Council would discuss the issue at their next monthly meeting on the 30th July. It is imperative that we have a large community presence at this meeting to ensure Councillors get the message loud and clear that the thousands of submitters will not be ignored on water funding a

Open Letter to Waitakere City Council

Re: W.C.C. Procrastination on Water Funding Review

After having campaigned for six years for the abolition of user charges for water and agreed in good faith to suspend our boycott after an assurance from Council that these inequitable charges would be reviewed under the ten year plan, C.A.P. members are outraged to learn of Council's decision to accept the advice given by unelected officials to postpone the review for up to two more years. We do not accept that the amended Local Government Act requires such a postponement of what is a matter of social policy, rather than administration, especially since the same Act requires that "changes in funding policy be community driven." This provision the council now appears to be repudiating.

Since 1997 WCC has received 16000 submissions opposing user pays for water on the grounds that it penalises those who can least afford to pay. All submissions have advocated a fully rates funded system as the fairest way of charging the low-to-average-valued-property owner, who under the present system are effectively subsidising highest-valued-property owners by up to $600pa.

Accordingly, we wish to advise Council of our intention to hold a public meeting to discuss whether to resume boycotting or whether some other form of direct action would better influence Council to represent the community's expressed wishes. This meeting will be held at Kelston Community Centre on Thursday 17th July at 7:30pm.

In view of the mass pubic support for our objectives, the evidence for which Councillors are by now fully aware of, we feel entirely justified in making the following demands:

a.. All councillors attend this meeting to explain how their recent decision can be considered community driven and/or why they have reneged on their earlier undertaking.

b.. That Council sends personal notification of this public meeting to every one of the 1592 residents whom made submissions on the water-funding options to the L.T.C.C.P.2003

c.. That Council immediately initiate the review of water funding by placing it on the agenda of the first Council session following the public meeting, i.e. 5.30pm July 30, 2003.

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