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City Council Refuses Reporting of Rates Comparison

9th June 2005

City Council Refuses Reporting of Rates Comparison

The Auckland City Council Mayor and Deputy Mayor both voted today to squash a request for a report that compares Auckland's proposed rate increase with the other major cities in the country. ACRN councillors requested the report after two days of listening to annual plan submissions from the public.

"Hundreds and hundreds of people have contacted the council vehemently objecting to the massive rate increases proposed. When we asked how our demand compares to other cities the Mayor and the Labour left simply stuck there heads in the sand and said it was too hard to get the information within two weeks which is when council needs to finalise its' annual plan. What rubbish" said Councillor Scott Milne, ACRN Team Leader.

"The proposed average rate rise is over four times the rate of inflation and more than ten thousand residents face increases over $350. Part of the democratic debate that surrounds the setting of rates requires comparative information. In a bizarre, defensive and politically naïve move the mayor refused to support the request commenting the information would only be used for cheap political shots and that Auckland was "different from everywhere else". We sat for twenty hours listening to ratepayer after ratepayer lambasting the council over its' excesses and now we are refused information on whether Auckland is out of step with the rest of the country. It is a disgraceful abuse of power", he added.

"To make matters worse the Mayor then had no hesitation calling for a report on the funding of gay, lesbian and transgender events in the city."

The council received 554 individual submissions and listened to 146 verbal submissions. Having considered the submissions Councillors then make requests for reports to be tabled at the Combined Committees Meeting, (held on June 23rd and 24th) which finalises the whole Annual Plan and budget or at later committee meetings.

ENDS

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