Call to cut spin doc­tors

Western Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORTERS

A leaked, con­fi­den­tial Auck­land Coun­cil re­port has re­vealed the lo­cal body is spend­ing $45 mil­lion run­ning its var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ca­tions de­part­ments which em­ploy 234 staff.

Crit­ics have called for the coun­cil to tighten its belt and dras­ti­cally cut the num­ber of ‘‘spin doc­tors’’ it em­ploys.

The review is one of four ‘value for money’ stud­ies be­ing un­der­taken by the coun­cil to find bet­ter ways to get value from coun­cil spend­ing.

Mayor Phil Goff, who cam­paigned on tight­en­ing the city’s ex­cess spend­ing, ad­dressed the re­views, which he in­sti­gated, at a meet­ing with the North Har­bour busi­ness com­mu­nity in Au­gust.

‘‘I’m spend­ing your money,’’ he said. ‘‘You need to know you’re get­ting value for money in what we spend.’’

The Auck­land Ratepay­ers’ Al­liance are now calling on Goff to halve the com­mu­ni­ca­tions salary bill in light of the leak.

‘‘Phil Goff and the cur­rent coun­cil were elected more than a year ago to cut waste­ful spend­ing. Why isn’t it hap­pen­ing?’’ al­liance spokesper­son Jo Holmes said.

‘‘We’re calling on Mr Goff to make a com­mit­ment, here and now, to cut the $45 mil­lion bill in half.

‘‘That would show that he is se­ri­ous about fight­ing for the re­gion’s ratepay­ers, and not the Coun­cil’s 234 spin doc­tors.’’

MATTHEW CATTIN/FAIR­FAX NZ

Phil Goff pres­sured to cut com­mu­ni­ca­tions staff.

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