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Board Chair slams implementation of 'Empowered Communities'

Media Release: Manurewa Local Board

5 October 2015

Manurewa Local Board Chair slams implementation of Council's 'Empowered Communities' Model

Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton is furious over the implementation of Auckland Council’s Empowering Communities Model which has seen more than a million dollar reduction in key frontline staff tasked with supporting local community groups.

Over the last month numerous front line community facing development staff have been informed that they have been made redundant with their jobs finishing on the 30th September in response to policy changes approved by the Governing Board.

Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton says that their Youth Council have been left high and dry with the redundancy of their community advisor, our junior neighbourhood support person has gone and our Citizen Advice Bureau are uncertain over their future funding.

"We are seeing Auckland Council pull right out of the community development space as the transition takes place to the 'empowered communities' approach. Whether it is working alongside our young, our elderly, our resident associations or with our disabled, there is no one on the ground today in Manurewa delivering on the Manurewa Local Board's commitment to our community.

"I wrote to Auckland Council's CEO Stephen Town on the 25th of August asking how a policy as significant as this could be included in the 2015/16 work plans after the Local Board's had already agreed to their Local Board Plans"

"The new 'Empowered Communities Approach' went live on the 1st of October, we are still yet to learn who will be leading this in Manurewa, who will be our new 'strategic broker', and whether they will be able to deliver on the Local Board Plan which Auckland Council has already agreed to with the Manurewa Local Board.

Manurewa Local Board Deputy Chair Simeon Brown says that not only has the change had widespread impacts but that staff have been not treated as well as they could have been by Auckland Council.

This is a failed process for what looks like it will be a failed policy for community development." Says Mr Brown.

"Many staff only learned their fate as late as one week before the policy change, leaving little over a week for them to find alternative work, and which was after the application process for transition positions had closed.

"The losers are the staff who are left with no jobs and the community organisations who will lose valuable people who worked alongside them to empower them to make a positive contribution in their communities." Says Mr Brown.

ENDS


Attachments:
Letter from Angela Dalton to Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town re ECA Changes. Letter_to_CEO_re_ECA.pdf
Response from CEO Stephen Town 3 September 2015. 03_09_15_Response_to_Angela_Dalton.pdf

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