Council seeks a social side
The Ruapehu District Council is studying the social impact of its decisions.
Group manager for community services Pauline Welch said the new Social Policy would help council to avoid making decisions that made communities worse off.
The council is now asking for feedback on the Draft Social Policy.
Consultation is open until 5pm, Friday August 25.
Welch said that trying to estimate the social impact of council decisions was not as simple as it might seem.
‘‘The draft Social Policy proposes a framework for assessing the social impact of council decisions.
‘‘We would be very interested in hearing from people on what they think of the proposed approach.
‘‘Council’s decisions are only one part of a very complex set of interactions that impacts on peoples day to day lives.’’
Welch said the adoption of a social policy does not mean that council is stepping into the social agency space and seeking to intrude in any way on the role of central government and other agencies that have specific responsibilities in these areas.
‘‘It has been developed to help keep the resilience of our communities and the social impacts of council decisions top of mind when we are drafting reports, strategies, policies, bylaws and other documents.
‘‘Since thencouncil has received a steady stream of submissions that show that our communities still have an expectation that we have a role in this space.’’
The government’s ‘‘2012 Better Local Government’’ reforms saw the legislated mandate for councils to focus on improving the social, cultural, environmental and economic well-beings removed from the Local Government Act.
The draft Social Policy meets the requirement of the current LGA for councils to take a sustainable development approach. This takes into account the social, economic and cultural interests of people and communities and the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations.
A copy of the draft Social Policy can be picked up from any council office or via ruapehudc.govt.nz