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I’m disappointed, says ARC chair

I’m disappointed, says ARC chair

ARC Chair Gwen Bull is disappointed at the public apathy so far to the ARC’s “get involved” campaign asking people about its rating policy.

Only 15 people attended the first of six public briefings on ARC’s draft regional community plan held on the North Shore last night, and the ARC’s online questionnaire drew fewer than 1000 responses in the first week.

“The ARC has not made up its mind on rating policy. My councillors are finely balanced on some issues. The policy we choose in July will reflect what people tell us now. Your feedback does make a difference – we are listening and we want to hear your point of view,” said Cr Bull.

“This is the time to give us your point of view. There is absolutely no point in people complaining when the bill arrives. If people cannot be bothered to make the effort to have their say, don’t expect us to change things when the bill arrives,” added Cr Bull.

“I am disappointed at the low level of response to our online questionnaire so far, and frustrated that we are doing our best to listen to the community but people appear to not be bothering to tell us what kind of rating policy they want,” said Cr Bull.

The ARC’s “get involved” campaign points people to a website questionnaire, www.getinvolved.co.nz. The questionnaire outlines the four options on how rates could be spread and also asks if ratepayers want a $10 charge to purchase more regional parks.

The questionnaire is also printed in the ARC’s community newsletter, RegionWide, which was delivered to 400,000 households in the week before Easter.

People can also fill out the questionnaire over the phone, 968 3254 (or 0508 9687729 if outside the calling area) or request a printed copy.

Formal submissions about anything in the ARC’s draft regional community plan are also welcome and hearings will be held in May.

The questionnaire and formal submissions close on 3 May 2004.

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