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Banks’ Final Council Plan A Fizzer

Media Release
City Vision-Labour Councillors - Auckland City Council

For Immediate Release

Thursday 11 February 2009

Banks’ Final Council Plan A Fizzer

The City Vision-Labour Auckland City Councillors today made a last ditch effort to save several Auckland community projects from the axe of Mayor John Banks and his Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) colleagues at the Special Council meeting to approve Council’s Annual Plan.  The Councillors unsuccessfully fought to restore the Otahuhu Pool project, MAGIC (Music and Arts Glen Innes Centre) and the upgrade of Maybury Reserve, along with purchasing Liston Park, keeping Monte Cecilia school on its current site, and restoring cuts to the footpath renewals, stormwater and volcanic cones protection budgets.

Councillor Richard Northey said, “Today C&R had the chance to restore a fair deal and some much-loved community projects for the rapidly growing and less well-off Tamaki communities of Glen Innes, Panmure and Otahuhu but instead slapped them in the face yet again.  With the Auckland Council looming, Auckland City Council had the chance to bequeath the legacy of a fair and responsive plan for desperately needed community facilities and projects but today C&R failed this test.”

Councillor Leila Boyle said, “Today I tried to get the most urgently needed projects in my community of Tamaki reinstated into the Council's 10-year budget.  These projects include the much needed pools in Otahuhu and Avondale which have been identified as gaps in the wider Auckland region; MAGIC, the Music and Art Glen Innes Centre, which will be much used by young people and the long overdue spending on vital safety improvements in Maybury Reserve in Glen Innes.  But C&R continued their cuts of Tamaki projects while gleefully adding millions of dollars to the budget out of nowhere for resanding Judges Bay.”

Councillor Glenda Fryer said, “I tried to get $1 million transferred from the major events sponsorship budget to council delivered community events so that the community events that have been chopped out of the budget can be put back in.  Iconic local and cultural events like the International Cultural Festival and the Teddy Bears’ Picnic that were to have taken place over the summer were postponed in secret meetings not open to the public just before Christmas.  Much-loved family community events have been replaced at meetings held behind closed doors by large major events at the CBD and Viaduct with more ‘economic development’ priority.”

Councillor Cathy Casey said, “Since they have come into office the C&R governing group have slashed critical infrastructure budgets for footpaths, stormwater and volcanic cones, and these are the very services that the people of Auckland have told us year upon year that they want to see increased.  People want to walk on decent footpaths, swim in a harbour without poo, and enjoy a clean, green experience on our volcanic maunga.”

ENDS

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