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AP Hearings - New Process!

Following on the AP Fluoride hearings report below, I now have a reply from Katina Conomos that explains the rationale for the new process - it was adopted on 16 October 2012, and I would have to say that I missed it at the time.

Katina's letter explains:

"You are correct that we are doing something we have not done in the past. 

This is the first Annual Plan that we have prepared under our new organisation structure and since the new Community Board delegations were adopted in August 2012.  There have been a number of changes to the Annual Plan project as a result of these.  The preparation of the Community Board plans was one of the most substantial changes, and seeking recommendations from Community Boards regarding the submissions received is another.  I highlighted these changes when I brought the project plan and communications plan overview to Council in November last year." 

The relevant section from the new process is as follows:

Hearings & Deliberations

- As the Boards are now responsible for managing local activities, and given the
success of the hearings throughout the Ten Year Plan process, it is proposed that
hearings be conducted in each Community Board area.
- These would need to be attended by both the Community Board and the Council
as the Council is still the decision maker for the 'overall' work programme and
expenditure. Further, submitters may be submitting on local and district matters which
the full Council need to be present for.
- To recognise the new Community Board delegations, it is proposed that
immediately following the hearings (i.e. that same day) in each Board Area, a
deliberations meeting should be held for the Community Board to deliberate and make
recommendations on the local activity decisions. These would then be presented to
the Council at the start of the Council deliberations meeting.

To be sure, the introduction of this new community board structure means that this and all future councils have been saddled with hugely expensive and totally unwarranted procedures - it is all out of proportion for a District of this size, but it strokes the egos of all concerned. 

It appears that this convoluted process with the fluoride controversy will be repeated over and over into the future. The current councillors have no-one to blame but themselves for this. It provides an opportunity for opposing parties to continue to litigate ad infinitum.




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