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Action to cut the number of councillors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

*Action to cut the number of councillors *

Porirua City Council would probably do better with fewer councillors said veteran councillor Robert Shaw.

Cr Shaw plans to move a motion to cut three of his colleagues seats after the hearings meeting on the 24th July.

His plan would cut out the "at-large" council positions, but leave ward representation in its current proportions.

Cr Shaw who is the chairperson of the Council's City Services Committee, and a former member of Greater Wellington, the Regional Council, said he had been giving the matter a great deal of thought.

"What counts is the quality of the decisions that the Council makes. We must ask ourselves whether we would make smarter decisions with fewer people".

"The 30-year history of the Council shows that there has frequently been a leveling of quality in our decision-making.

"We have either opted for the popular decision or avoided issues.

"This has come about because it has been impossible to bring all the councillors sufficiently to one conclusion.

"It should not be thought that I seek to reduce the divergence of views around the table. The divergence is a good thing.

"But, the problem is the amount of work that is necessary to bring so many divergent views to an enlightened consensus.

"It has been this problem that has traditionally resulted in factionalism.

"Every since I can remember our Council has worked by a never-ending parade of "in-groups" and "out-groups".

"We are entrenched in the style of conflict. What we need is a chance to bring everyone together, and that would be more likely if there were fewer of us.

We need to test the courage of the councillors, and give them a chance to set their own interests aside in the interests of the City.

ENDS

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