Clutha rep­re­sen­ta­tion re­view dis­cussed

Clutha Leader - - WE’RE YOUR LOCALS - MARY-JO TOHILL

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.

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