Clutha representation review discussed
Would Clutha District Council be better or worse off if it had fewer councillors around the table?
This is just one scenario being discussed by the council.
The aim is to get preliminary feedback from the public before making a formal statement on its position for an upcoming representation review in the lead-up to the next local government elections in 2019.
This will open up discussion on such matters as the number of wards in the Clutha District, their names and boundaries, the number of elected members from each ward, the number to be elected by the whole district, and the existence and composition of community boards.
The council meets today to formalise what was decided at the last council meeting. The corporate services committee, with input from councillors, came up with the following recommendation, which considers:
a) the status quo, with mandatory ward boundary changes. (If wards are retained, the number and boundaries of wards will need to be considered to fit the one elected member per 1245 residents ratio rule.)
It also considers with:
b) a reduced number of councillors scenarios c) a reduced number of wards d) a mixed ward/at large model e) all councillors elected at large
f) community boards (establishing, disestablishing or retaining them, along with the number of representatives on community boards).
At the moment the council consists of a mayor, 14 councillors and two community boards, Tuapeka-Lawrence and West Otago, which follow the same boundaries as council wards.
The mayor is elected by the whole district, but councillors are elected within the eight wards, Balclutha, Bruce, Catlns, Clinton, Clutha Valley (created during the last review), Kaitangata-Matau, Lawrence-Tuapeka and West Otago.
Following adoption today, preliminary consultation will be sought from November 17 to January 17, with the council looking at the feedback from March 22, before formal public consultation begins.
In a draft document describing what will be discussed, the council will also formalise the retention of the first past the post electoral system, and the decision not to establish a Maori ward.