Rates Go Up – Services Go Down
Another day and another Local Board bearing the brunt of fulfilling our resident Prude – The Mayor’s call to reduce spending at Local Board level.
From Stuff reflecting on Albert-Eden Local Board‘s pressure to save the cash:
Services will suffer if local boards are forced to make spending cuts, Albert-Eden Local Board chairman Peter Haynes says. Mayor Len Brown has asked boards to reduce spending by at least 3 per cent in their 2013 to 2014 budgets.
Rates increases have been capped at 4.9 per cent for that year in the Auckland Council‘s Long-Term Plan. ”Inflation is running well below that and I wish to drive down any rates increase to well below 4 per cent, so I am looking for cost reductions and improved revenue levels,” the mayor says in a memo to local boards. Mr Haynes says it’s unrealistic to ask his board for savings.
“We are already the lowest spending board per capita in the region. So we simply don’t have the capacity to cut our budget that other local boards have. It is grossly unfair to expect them from us.
“Cuts of this order would inevitably affect service levels. We’re talking about fixing vandalised playground equipment or repairing our rundown community facilities,” he says.
“Unless we stop mowing the berms we just don’t have any savings to coffer up.”
Mr Haynes says it’s unfair to expect those in his ward who have just received steep rates increases to be provided with reduced services. ”It’s just adding insult to injury,” he says. ”If the mayor wants to make savings, he should look at the boards that are having new libraries and so forth heaped on them.”
Waitemata Local Board chairman Shale Chambers says finding fat to trim will be difficult. He says his board is not looking to cut its services and will instead look to reduce any “poor quality spending” or back room costs.
“When most people thought of the super-city they didn’t see it as a ‘pay more rates, get less service’ situation.”
The mayor is expecting the governing body, local boards and council-controlled organisations to look at ways to reduce spending
You can read more by clicking on the link to the article above.
But after the plight both Manurewa and Papakura Local Boards were in for having to cut the Local Board(s) budgets, that very same plight is else where in Auckland as the pressure to save (while getting whacked with rates increases for most) is piled upon the city.
This is unacceptable!
I can save Council a cool near $21 million by ditching the Mayor’s Flight of Fancy Cruise Ship Terminal straight off the bat. In fact I would give all 21 Local Boards an even-way split of that Cruise Ship Terminal money back to them to use as they need too.
But the point being is that the Mayor needs to follow what he says rather than “do as I say and not as I do.”
Spending priorities seem apparently wrong in Auckland Council. 2013 is every ratepayers‘ (business and resident) turn to “reallocate” those revenue and spending priorities. Make sure you cast your vote next year in the Local Government Elections 2013.
In the mean time I shall:
Shine The Light –
To a Better Auckland
Auckland 2013: YOUR CITY – YOUR CALL