Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Another service reduction for old Auckland City area


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Media release

Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer

Another service reduction for old Auckland City area

Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s draft budget for 2013/14 released today will cut out a long-held lawn mowing service for residents living in the old Auckland City area who are the same ratepayers stung the hardest with ongoing rates increases,” says Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer.

“In an attempt to save $4.1m by discontinuing road-side berm mowing for the isthmus – a proposal that was rejected outright by the Transport Committee earlier this month – the Mayor is hitting many of those who face another 10% rates increase next year.

“Most of the 133,000 Auckland households currently paying the full 10% rates increase cap are within the isthmus. Many of them will still have to pay another 10% next year and the following year as a spillover from this year’s rates transition. The 2.9% average region-wide rates increase now being promoted by the Mayor has little meaning for areas like the eastern suburbs. The reality is the majority of households in the Orakei ward will be up for a double digit rates next year. For them, it won’t be 2.9% next year, just as it wasn’t 3.6% this year.

“Those on the isthmus are paying huge rates, yet they’re now up for a further service reduction. Their rates keep going up but now on top of user-pays rubbish being signaled they’ll also lose the long-standing free berm mowing service. They’re being asked to pay more for less.

“In his famous cost-cutting report to the former Auckland City Council 11 years ago, former Finance Minister Bill Birch recommended that the “council should stop mowing berms” and at the time there was just about a mutiny by residents. Subsequently, changes to the regularity of berm mowing were made, but the service was ultimately retained. The Mayor needs to take heed of this experience.

“He should look at tightening up the costs around the berm mowing contracts. However to remove this service completely would be a big mistake. Ratepayers affected won’t like it one bit and it will only make many of our streets untidy. Residents need to make sure they have their say on this.”

Mr Brewer said while the 2.9% average region-wide rates increase was encouraging, the Mayor needs to re-look at some of the big capital projects in his draft budget for next year.

“Before he commits $180m for the City Rail Link in 2013/14 alone, the Mayor needs to at least get some commitment from the Government, particularly when you consider he’s trimming the stormwater and flood protection budget which currently stands at about $78m. Is spending $3.4m next year on starting the Quay Street Boulevard a priority? I would say no, nor is spending millions on extending the Wynyard tram tracks.

“Overall there’s still too much fat in the CBD and waterfront capital budgets, and ATEED needs to find further savings other than simply closing some information centres. The Mayor says he will not re-litigate any of his strategic priorities in the Long Term Plan which is a mistake given the increasing financial pressure this council is under, and the fact that’s we’re borrowing nearly $3m a day.

“The Mayor’s described his cuts as ‘rats and mice’ that won’t have an impact on service levels but in the old Auckland City area ceasing berm mowing is undoubtedly a service cut which will negatively affect a big part of the community,” says Cameron Brewer

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Day:


Reshuffle: PM Announces Changes To Ministerial Portfolios

Prime Minister Bill English today announced the appointment of Gerry Brownlee as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence.

The changes follow the resignations from Cabinet of Hekia Parata and Murray McCully.

In other changes Simon Bridges has been appointed Leader of the House and Nicky Wagner has been made Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration. More>>

 

Q+A Transcript: CTU Call For 'National Standards' On Wages

‘If you look at countries who do better than us, who pay wages better, who have more competitive industries, more successful economies, they have systems where there are national standards.’ More>>

ALSO:

Health Workers Respond: People's Mental Health Report Released

The People's Mental Health Review reinforces a recent YesWeCare.nz survey of 6,000 health workers, which found nine in 10 believe they don't have the staff or resources to deliver the care Kiwis need when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

More Mental Health:

Energy: Greens Launch Plan For Cheaper And Cleaner Electricity

$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills • setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions) • an investigation into the electricity wholesale market. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Aged-Care Settlement

Until yesterday, a National government has always been the sworn enemy of women seeking justice in the workplace, in the face of gender-based pay discrimination. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news