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Local Councils Now Playthings Of Central Govt

26 January 2006

Local Councils Now Playthings Of Central Government

The Auckland mayors seeking tolling of existing roads are clearly out of touch with the people they were elected to represent.

For years local councils have been begging the government to put back into roads and public transport the money it collects from road users.

Nothing has happened in recent times to change or withdraw that demand.

For the mayors, without any support from the public, to now change tack and ask for the power to impose tolls on existing roads is a total cop-out.

Following the Queen Street trees fiasco it is becoming increasingly clear that local councils have lost the plot.

Central government has introduced all manner of new demands onto local councils without providing the funds necessary to implement those demands.

As a consequence ratepayers have been faced with ever-rising rates demands.

Local councils have meekly accepted all this while putting the blame onto central government.

If this latest tolling proposal is introduced we will see councils putting tolls in as many roads as possible - no doubt blaming the government yet again for not providing enough funds for roads out of taxation raised from road users.

There can be no doubt that local government has become the plaything of central government.

Local government is expensive to run - but we ratepayers are not getting value for our money.

It is time local councils stood up to central government and opted out of any activity which should rightfully be funded by central government.


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