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Other Long Term Plan Issues

The other LTP papers to go to Council tomorrow include the following:

Activity Group Structure

A long overdue rationalisation of the Council's structure. Currently we have 11 groups of activities, and 28 activities. Graham McDermott is responsible for the Paper, and I can see nothing to criticise in regard to the changes that are being proposed. I have always thought that nomenclature and reporting in the past has been outlandish, if not medieval. How anyone could work out where to go and who to talk to is beyond me.

Legislated changes have mandated certain activities, but beyond this Graham reports "direction" from the Mayor PLUS Group - so now we have not just an unelected, ad hoc group but an one that gives direction. Boy, we have come some way from a elected Council and Boards. Then he records "feedback" from a Council workshop on 14 April, and "follow-up" from the internal Strategy Team. So that's it then - Direction, Feedback and Follow-up - sounds like the perfect way to run the place.

I will not reproduce the structure here - it is on Page 81 of the Agenda. The new emphasis on Economic Development is given full play in the structure, but no mention the external "Committee" that has taken over responsibility from elected representatives - I bet we won't hear a squeak out of the Whangamata representatives about that, but then again, Jack may be ready for an out-burst - he will certainly have something to say about the Freedom Camping debacle if I am not mistaken, and Mr Day had better keep his head well down.

All in all, and despite the carping criticism above, the proposals appear reasonable.

Planning Assumptions 

This probably the last Paper to come to Council from Katina Conomos who finishes on 30 May. It's clarity, and comprehensive nature is as usual incomparable. 

Katina sets out the assumptions that the planners are likely to need to deal with, including the probable re-organisation, the machinations of Central Government, development contribution reform, and the Economic Development Strategy.

Once again, the Mayor PLUS Group are prominent in shaping the future direction. It was interesting that the Group arrived at the conclusion that the Economic Development Strategy was high risk and that its two targets should be treated as aspirations, rather than assumptions. This begs the question as to what idiot would have made them assumptions in the first place?

Again the trend towards proportionately greater number of older rate-payers during this TYP is noted, and the need to shape the Plan accordingly - like building Dry-Courts in Thames!

Growth Projection Review 

Christine Tye gives another succinct and well argued Paper on the growth projections, and the Rationale project in particular. At last we have some reasonable growth figures to work off, as long as they can keep some of the more gung-ho, parochial elements on Council at bay - don't hold your breadth!




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Reader Comments (1)

The tend to using external individuals and groups to provide advice, direction, feedback, et. al. ought to be a bit of a worry for those interested in the democratic processes that drive our elected representatives; the Mayor especially, given his power within the 'paid' council (as opposed to the elected council).
This concern is aggravated by the thought that our current group of Thames councillors appear to have little voice at meetings. We can only assume this - given their performance at public council meetings, and the publics ignorance of the 'goings-on' in the closed workshop sessions.
It is a sad thing that the citizens voice at council is disconnected from citizen opinion. The economic development committee, or whatever it is called, is a case in point. One might argue that the CFM chap is well placed to represent community opinion, but public perception might be that he is opinionated enough already, and this aggravated by the 'circles' within which he moves.
We might reasonably conclude, at least from your comments, that power has moved from the community to the 'circle'.
It is odd that this local body scenario seems to have elements within it that copy our current 'modus operandi' at national politics level - disdain for the citizen corporate, focus policy / decision making on the needs of the few, corporate good rather than community need.
There seems to be a common thread; something much bigger at play here?

May 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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