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ARC Chair turns down car

16 February 2005

ARC Chair turns down car

The Chairman of the Auckland Regional Council, Michael Lee, has turned down the opportunity to have a new council-paid vehicle.

As part of his role as Chairman, Mr Lee is entitled to a council car for business purposes. As part of its vehicle fleet maintenance programme, the ARC is scheduled to purchase a new car for the Chairman of the council.

“My decision not to have an ARC car is a personal one, to show that I take our promise to work for budget constraints seriously,” says Mr Lee.

“Since my election I have been calling for council staff to make economies. It’s a case of leading by example.”

Mr Lee’s decision will result in a savings of $40,000 on capital expenditure, and almost $18,000 in operating expenditure in the 2005/06 ARC budget.

Mr Lee says his decision not to use a council car does not preclude future council Chairs from having one. In the meantime, Mr Lee will use his own car to get around.

The ARC begins its budget deliberations on 17 February. The council faces escalating costs for public transport on the one hand, and increased sensitivity from the public about high rates demands on the other.

Mr Lee says ARC councillors are mindful of public concerns about the costs of local government and ever-increasing council rates, and will be working hard to keep council costs down.

It is expected that Mr Lee’s recommendation to turn down the new car will be fully supported by the council.

ENDS

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