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Tresspass to be enforced for council submissions

CITIZENS AGAINST PRIVATISATION


PRESS STATEMENT

The council are denying Meredydd Barrar, spokesperson CAP, the right to give a verbal submission to Waitakere Councils draft annual plan process at 6pm Tues 13th June at the Council Offices. Mr Barrar was arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour and trespassed for 2 years at a protest to keep Te Atatu South library open on February 22nd
(please see above attachment for history and background).

“Mayor Bob Harvey and his council are indulging in the crudest form of political censorship. This is real jackboot stuff. A meeting of Citizens against Privatisation unanimously decided that I should deliver our verbal submission. As well as this I have submitted an individual submission regarding the closure of Te Atatu South library” says Meredydd Barrar, spokesperson CAP.

“This action contravenes my rights to freedom of speech as laid out in the New Zealand Bill of Rights legislation 1990. This is not like getting trespassed off a private property. This is a public building where every citizen has certain rights under this legislation. Unfortunately there is no time to appeal the councils trespass before I am due to submit on the 13th June. If I were to appeal there are a huge amount of successful precedents that would suggest that I would get the trespass overturned. It is about time the council came back to reality and dropped this trespass and allowed me to exercise my democratic right. My other court case has not even been heard yet. What happened to the concept of innocent until proven guilty? It seems that I am simply being condemned for criticising Council policy and we all know what that can lead to”

“There are many members of CAP who could deliver our verbal submission but our meeting voted that I should address the Council as elected spokesperson. It’s a matter of principle. I have also asked to speak as an individual this right to has also been denied”.

CAP urges the community to come to WCC offices Waipareira Ave on Tuesday 13th June at 6 pm and support speakers opposing the closure of Te Atatu South library, proposals for an unfair flat waste water tax, the schools pan tax proposal, the privatisation of Techscape, our ex council works dept and other policies that are redistributing the cost of council services on to the people who can least afford to pay them.

Meredydd Barrar,
Spokesperson Citizens against Privatisation

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CITIZENS AGAINST PRIVATISATION


PRESS STATEMENT

GRAND OPENING OF NEW HENDERSON LIBRARY

RATANUI STREET, HENDERSON 6PM THURSDAY 23RD MARCH

PEOPLES PICKET TO PROTEST THE CLOSURE OF TE ATATU SOUTH LIBRARY.

Waitakere City Council has closed Te Atatu South library despite mass public opposition (see below for background). There will be a small symbolic funeral procession complete with coffin and lone piper, to draw W.C.C councillorsattention to the fact that they have utterly disregarded public opinion over this issue.

"The community are not opposed to this new library in Henderson, although we suspect its establishment is more to do with the interests of UNITEC than Henderson residents. This is a business deal ,UNITEC will run and manage this library. They are already charging people to park in the library carpark , which will be a huge access barrier especially for the elderly and low income families.The closure of Te Atatu South library will be a major nail in the political coffin of Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey, Deputy Caroline Stone, Cllrs Penny Hulse, Janet Clews, Ross Dallow and others who voted for its clousure. It is obvious to everybody that both libraries for different reasons are sustainable. Councillors need to reconsider or face the political consequences".

Meredydd Barrar (spokesperson)

BACKGROUND

The library closure is set against a background of a concerted new right type agenda, fuelled by council officials that are driving proposals such as the privatisation of Techscape (ex council works dept), the proposed sale of council pensioner housing, user-pays for waste water, pan taxes for schools, user-pays for inorganic rubbish and support for the regional proposal for road tolling. This, under the liberal slogan of the Eco City whcih some now are describing as 'greenwash'.All these policies will penalise the avarage income majority.


The closure of Te Atatu South Library is yet another example of the contempt Mayor Bob Harvey, his Teamwest Cllrs and their supporters have for our community. The “March" (see background below) on Council took place because every other means of public expression had been ignored. Community Boards and Ratepayer Associations, not just in Te Atatu but right throughout the city, had opposed this closure. Many community groups including Grey Power, the NZEI (Primary Teachers Union) and thousands of residents had also expressed their opposition, even our local MP Chris Carter. Eminent educational researcher Jeanne Bidduplh, who has advised the Ministry of Education, even felt compelled to personally petition the Council over the issue. Her submission based on extensive research stated “Families require ready access to libraries in their immediate neighbourhood. This is especially true for low-income families for whom transport and cost are a problem. Lower income families in particular need to be able to walk to their local library, and they need to be able to use the library’s resources without cost if they are going to support their children’s learning adequately”. All have cynically been ignored. And in a final act of arrogance most councillors refused to take their seats and even listen when marchers were given an opportunity to speak at their own Public Forum, at their own Council Meeting on the 22nd of February.

When posterity judges Cllrs Stone, Hulse, Dallow, Clow, Gilmour, Clews, Cooper and others they will not be applauded for building a new library run and managed by Unitec and presumably in Unitec’s interests, complete with user-pays parking in Henderson, but condemned for closing this library in Te Atatu South. Despite this Councils attempts at crude forms of political censorship through arrests and trespass orders.(again see background) They will not prevent the court of public opinion giving the final verdict on this and other anti social measures.

MORE BACKGROUND

Te Atatu South Library Closure- Library due to close at 5.30pm (Fri 3rd March) Community will picket from 4pm onwards.

background follows this Press statement.

W.C.C remains intransigent despite a community march of 200 or so residents on a Council meeting last week. Protest Reps were snubbed by councillors who refused to listen to a delegation, after Mayor Harvey finally granted speaking rights. When protesters refused to leave until councillors arrived- Meredydd Barrar spokesperson Citizens Against Privatisation was arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour and also trespassed from W.C.C building for 2 years.

“This was a draconian act, and represents the crudest form of political cencorship, These are jack boot tactics says Mr Barrar.

Mayor Bob Harvey, Deputy Caroline Stone, Cllrs Penny Hulse, Ross Dallow, Janet Clews and others have fragrantly ignored the community will. Thousands have signed petitions and submissions, recommendations from community boards throughout the City demanding the Library stay open have all been IGNORED.

more background follows- comment on new Library in Henderson etc.


More Background (DESPITE repition there are references to atatchments that might be of interest)

Waitakere City Council is doing shady deals with UNITEC to build them a library at their new campus in Henderson, Waitakere at the expense of the community at Te Atatu South who will lose their local library. The council is funding this new library but UNITEC will be controlling it and running it. They have already stated their intention to charge user-pays for the library carpark. The closure of Te Atatu South library has met with widespread opposition. Thousands have signed petitions and submissions, the Henderson community board has recommended the library stays open and Chris Carter MP has petitioned the council. Before Christmas a packed public meeting of over 150 residents urged the council to reconsider. Concillor Assid Corban tabled a motion to keep the library opened before Christmas. The public gallery was packed and the council was presented with the findings of a survey conducted by the NZEI (primary school teachers union) and a personal petition by Jeanne Biddulph eminent educational researcher who has advised the Ministry of Education (the survey and submission appear as attachments above). The council, in their arrogance, again voted to close the library. This makes a farce of the intentions of the local government act in terms of meaningful consultation. The library has been purposely rundown and had its hours reduced as a means of justifying the closure. Bob Harvey and his Teamwest group have recently voted to privatise techscape (the ex council works dept) have supported user-pays for waste water, proposed user-pays for inorganic rubbish, attempted to sell off their pensioner housing stock and now wish to close this library.

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MARCH AND RALLY (22ND FEBRUARY)

A meeting of around 50 residents and reps of community groups met at Kelston community centre Thursday 2nd February. The meeting was convened by C.A.P. The proposal for the march was endorsed by all present. Grey Power, NZEI, Te Atatu Ratepayers, Chris Carter MP and others.

Residents will Rally outside the Te Atatu South library at 3.15pm. We are encouraging parents to bring their children to the library when they pick them up after school. Local schools are supporting the campaign. March organisers, including the NZEI, are asking children to dress up as their favourite story book characters. Prizes will be given for the best costumes.

Some people will be marching; others including the more elderly participants will drive in procession in decorated cars. There will also be a free bus available for those without transport who can not march.

The march will proceed along Edmonton Rd and converge on the Waitakere City Council offices at about 5pm. People who are working or can not join the march can go straight to the council offices from 5pm onwards. Some older teenagers have said they intend skateboarding the entire route, says Meredydd Barrar CAP spokesperson.

This is the last council meeting before they enter into the annual plan process. This gives Waitakere council another opportunity to reconsider the closure. This community will tolerate nothing less than a full library service for Te Atatu South. This is a well established urban community and deserves the same service as other areas of the city . It is about time Cllr Penny Hulse, Caroline Stone , Ross Dellow and others listened to our community instead of being lead by the nose by politically motivated officials.

The meeting at Kelston was outraged when they heard from Henderson Community Board member Elizabeth Grimmer that only 30 mins free parking would be provided at the new library in Henderson after which a $1:00 charge will be levied and more charges after the first hour.

How on earth can old people and parents with children be expected to park, browse, choose books and read magazines etc in half an hour before incurring charges, this is an outrage .

Also we believe UNITEC has virtual control of this library, so who knows what other charges are to follow. The interests of Te Atatu South residents are being sacrificed while the council is making deals with this institution.

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