Local Government reform concerns

Date published: March 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Comments

The Local Government Minister and local mayors are tomorrow (March 22nd) converging on Tauranga to discuss reforms announced earlier this week.

Nick Smith is wanting to cap council spending, and make sure they focus more on providing quality services, rather than bigger issues which can be left up to the Government.

Kawerau civic leader, Malcolm Campbell has already put together a list of questions around the alterations to the role of councils in their districts.

He doesn’t think the Government should interfere with the running of towns, for fear of losing the local touch.

He says they don’t disagree with what Dr Smith’s doing, they just want a fair hearing.

Mayor Campbell doesn’t think getting bigger is going to be the silver bullet at this point in time, but working in collaboration will do it.

He believes the thing concerning a number of mayors, including himself, is taking the local out of local authorities.

He explains when the Minister says councils need to get back to their core business, he’s aware of the fact there are a number of Mayors across the country who are working in the social sector.

Mayor Campbell says being leaders in the community, it’s automatic to get the agencies working within their district, and he’s going to ask Dr Smith about it tomorrow.

He says if he’s told the Government doesn’t want councils in the social sector, that’s fine – but he wonders who’ll be there to pick up the pieces.

Source: 1XX FM