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Palmerston North Mayor Shouts And Waves Arms

PN Mayor takes Action

The Mayor of Palmerston North, Mark Bell-Booth this evening went to see some of the tenants of the City Council pensioner flats and shouted and waved his arms at them, telling them that they should have gone to him to get overdue repairs done to their units instead of the media. The two women were so emotionally upset they rang John Bos, their friend who had supported them in their attempts to get the work done, to ask him to come down and help them to cope.

The Manawatu Evening Standard on Thursday evening included a letter to the Editor from Mr Bos commenting on the extra-ordinary behaviour of the new Council CEO, Paul Wylie, at the August meeting of the Council's Low Income Sub-Committee, over two matters, the most relevant being over the Sub-Committee's support for the City Council to Voluntarily adopt a Certificate of Fitness for its rental units. He was strongly opposed to the proposal. A few weeks later the full Council rejected the proposal on the grounds that it would cost too much, $18,000 for over 400 units.

Concerned at this stance, Mr Bos encouraged three of the residents to issue the Council with 10 day notices to undertake necessary repairs. This story was in the Evening Standard on Friday evening, along with comments on the frustration the residents felt at the lack of response or attention they generally get from Council officers.

The response of the Mayor is an example of the present Council's approach to differences of opinion, especially where it involves work that should be part of normal maintenance.

Such practices should not be tolerated. People expect much better of their elected officials and their employees. They also have a right to live in properly maintained accommodation.

- Supplied by Ian Ritchie Spokesperson for the Palmerston North Poverty Action Group Member of the Low Income Sub-Committee of the City Council. For further information refer to the Evening Standard, 19 / 20 September and contact John Bos, 06 354 0801

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