Changes for Village Planning
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.’’