Changes for Vil­lage Plan­ning

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Politi­cians will have more say in Vil­lage Plan­ning next coun­cil term, mayor Nick Leggett has said in re­sponse to crit­i­cism of the scheme.

If Mr Leggett is re-elected in Oc­to­ber, he plans to es­tab­lish a Porirua City coun­cil­lor sub­com­mit­tee over­see­ing al­lo­ca­tion of Vil­lage Plan­ning funds.

In re­cent months Vil­lage Plan­ning has come un­der fire for un­fair­ness and lack of trans­parency.

A pub­licly ex­cluded meet­ing re­view­ing the scheme was held on July 17 af­ter Whitby Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion threat­ened to com­plain pub­licly about its share of the $500,000 fund.

‘‘We’ve had some grow­ing pains. The Vil­lage Plan­ning pro­gramme has been so suc­cess­ful,’’ Mr Leggett said.

‘‘We just need to put a bit more struc­ture into the de­ci­sion mak­ing. I want a ded­i­cated place for this to be dis­cussed.’’

Al­though each vil­lage cur­rently has a coun­cil­lor li­ai­son, coun­cil­lors would be en­cour­aged to take a more ac­tive in­ter­est in Vil­lage Plan­ning next term, Mr Leggett said.

No in­crease in fund­ing to Vil­lage Plan­ning was planned, be­cause keep­ing rates in­creases low was a big­ger pri­or­ity, he said.

While some vil­lages felt hard done by, there was not a need to fun­da­men­tally change the dis­tri­bu­tion of funds, Mr Leggett said.

Whitby Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion had pro­posed the money be al­lo­cated based on the pro­por­tion of rates each vil­lage paid.

‘‘ We strive to be fair and eq­ui­table,’’ Mr Leggett said.

‘‘I re­ject the idea that com­mu­ni­ties get rewarded on how much rates each pay. That’s the first thing you do if you want to kill a pro­gramme like this.’’

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