Two good items from Cr Bhatnagar.
First he details how City Vision thought they could score some points by trying to perkbust something insignificant but symbolic such as the Koru Club cards for Councillors. They probably thought the C&R majority would resist. but not only did C&R vote to get rid of them, they commissioned a report on how the perk came about – and it was Hubbard and Hucker who introduced them in the last term. Wonderful own goal!
The other issue is more important, and that is the Council’s role in housing. I think Aaron has summed it up succintly:
C&R believes in trying to keep rates affordable for the many, rather than subsidising 100 houses for a few. In some ways, what we had last night was a clear contrast in ideology between the left and the right, so no surprises the passions were a little inflamed at times.
They were elected with a very clear mandate to reduce the amount rates have been rising by, and housing is very clearly a core responsibility of central Government. Local Government’s role is to set the rules around housing, not to be a landlord in my opinion.
Otherwise why not also have ratepayers start to fund local schools and hospitals also?
Now some could argue welfare, health and housing should not just be a central government concern, but a shared responsibility. That is a legitimate view. But the problem I have with that is it lessens accountability.
The more local government intervenes in the areas that traditionally are central Government’s the more it lets central Government off the hook. Because they can then blame local authorities for not contributing enough to schools or hospitals or houses in their area.Tags: Local Body Politics