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ARC Crisis: No Draft Plan Means No Rates Next Year

The REGIONAL RATEPAYERS REBELLION

The campaign fighting the Auckland Regional Council's rating polices and
rates increases.

MEDIA RELEASE 16 March 2004

CRISIS FOR REGIONAL COUNCIL - MINISTER MAY NEED TO SACK THE LOT

ARC CANNOT SET RATES FOR NEXT YEAR IF DRAFT PLAN NOT APPROVED

Yesterday's decision by the Auckland Regional Council not to adopt a Draft Long Term Council Community Plan has placed the council on the verge of collapse.

If there is no Draft Plan in place, there can be no final Plan, and therefore no rate can be struck for the financial year starting on 1st July.

Without rate income the council could simply not function and all services provided through the ARC - including Public Transport - would cease to operate

This situation would immediately lead to ministerial intervention.

Yesterday two councillors, Barnett and Little, were absent, and both had previously voted in favour of the draft Plan which included the retention of the rating system introduced last. It was that system which provoked the regionwide rates revolt.

Last year Councillor Little voted against that system - but seems to have changed his mind this year. He might change it again.

And Councillor Barnett abstained from voting for last year's Plan - but voted for retaining the present rating system in the new Draft Plan.

How these two councillors vote - or other councillors change their minds - will decide the final outcome for a Draft Plan at next Monday's Council meeting

Every ARC councillor will need to be present at next Mondays meeting and the eyes of thousands of ratepayers will be upon them as they cast their fateful votes.

Its crunch time for the ARC - at the very time when central government is about to give it the overlord role in solving Auckland's traffic problems.

If the ARC cannot approve a budget for next year the Minister will have no option but to sack the Council and appoint a Commissioner - a prospect that would please many ratepayers.

Contact, campaign spokesman, DAVID THORNTON [Chairman of the Glenfield Ratepayers] david@Kandu.co.nz


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