Council seeks a so­cial side

Ruapehu Press - - Out & About - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

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 ru­ape­

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