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C&R Council Pinches Pennies from Local Communities

Media Release City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council For Immediate release Friday 8 February 2008

*C&R Council Pinches Pennies from Local Communities*

City Vision-Labour Councillors have slammed savage cuts made to community and transport safety projects at Auckland City Council committee meetings yesterday, describing it as penny-pinching at its worst.

Councillor Richard Northey said, "Why would C&R want to make such drastic cuts in those projects most benefiting local communities? What a warped sense of priorities to cut spending to those areas that most need it."

Councillor Graeme Easte said he is very concerned at the cuts to footpath and safety initiative budgets. "The fifty percent cut in footpath upgrades across all our suburbs next year will mean that pedestrians will continue to have to suffer a substantial proportion of unsafe footpaths with holes and jagged edges while road maintenance spending for cars suffers no cuts.

"Halving spending on school transport safety initiatives and terminating the liveable streets programme will mean more kids being seriously injured on our roads. Savage cuts to improvement projects for cycleways, walkways and bus stations as well as land purchases for rail transport demonstrates C&R's inability to recognise that we can no longer give priority for private cars over sustainable transport alternatives," says Councillor Easte.

Councillor Cathy Casey said the cuts to community library developments demonstrate C&R's lack of commitment to community projects, particularly to community libraries. "They are putting off building a vitally needed new library in Otahuhu even though there is clear evidence of demand by the community and Council officers have reported that the current building is too small, poorly located, has limited visibility and is in poor condition.

"The Mt Roskill and Blockhouse Bay communities are also having library developments deferred. Waiheke Islanders have been surveyed so often about their library facilities that they will be bitterly disappointed that their much postponed and locally debated Waiheke Library is also being shelved for another year," concludes Councillor Casey.

ENDS


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