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C&R Council Confirms Glen Innes Budget Cuts

Friday 7 March 2008

*C&R Council Confirms Glen Innes Budget Cuts*

Despite a huge effort by Labour Tamaki-Maungakiekie Ward Councillors Leila Boyle and Richard Northey, Glen Innes residents will be disappointed and angry to hear the cuts and postponements to projects in their area will be going ahead as planned by the Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) majority on the Auckland City Council.

Councillor Leila Boyle says "Unsurprisingly, C&R has decided that this Council's budget has no room for a number of Glen Innes projects."

The C&R position on Glen Innes projects hasn't changed between the February Committee meetings where recommendations were made and the full Council meeting held on 5 March where the Council's draft Annual Plan was decided. Most projects will be delayed so much there will be no work done on them in this three-year term of Council.

*'Sylvia Park surrounds'* is a $4 million project to improve the safety and quality of parks and reserves in the Tamaki area by acquiring and developing land. Tamaki Community Board Chair Kate Sutton says "We know that Tamaki has the very worst quality parks in the city – a number of them are little more than drainage reserves. This money would be spent on land to open up parks to the street, improving visibility into them which would make them safer. Instead of this project being completed by mid-2011, it won't even have started until 2013."

*'Glen Innes Town Centre Upgrade (Stage Two)'* is a $5 million project to provide a link which would improve pedestrian circulation, open up access to Eastview Reserve and support the overall revitalisation of the Glen Innes Town Centre's business and residential areas. Councillor Boyle says "Stage One was completed in 2005 and the proposed delay means the second stage won't be finished until 2015, a full decade later! C&R are saying this decision is okay because a landowner is no longer a willing seller. I don't agree, I think this project should stay on the books and start next year as planned but in a different form. The community deserves to have the revitalisation continue rather than be stalled."

*'Glen Innes Music and Arts Centre'* is a $5 million project proposed in 2001 which officers recommended be deleted. Tamaki Community Board Chair Kate Sutton says, "Thankfully our councillors managed to convince the Council of the need to keep this project on the books but it has been delayed out until 2014."

Councillor Boyle concludes by saying "Our Tamaki Edge area is expected to accommodate growth of an additional 30,000 people (the population of Gisborne) over the next twenty years. If the Council expects our community to make room for more people, then there has to be social, community and economic infrastructure put in place as we grow. It's no good having people come to live here but not have places for them to work and play when they arrive."

The only way to restore funding for these valuable projects is for citizens and agencies to make submissions to the Council's draft Annual Plan which will be available for public feedback from 18 April to 20 May 2008. In early June there will be opportunity to make verbal submissions to councillors before the Annual Plan is finalised by 30 June 2008.


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