Wellington mayoral candidate Nick Leggett has announced a $27 million plan, which he says will give communities a greater say in governing their suburbs.
Leggett has proposed a “community futures initiative”, which he will trial if he wins the mayoralty in October.
The initiative will allow Wellington’s suburbs to develop their own 10-year plans in conjunction with the council.
These non-statutory documents will guide council decision-making across a range of issues, including hot-button topics like cycleways and medium-density housing.
The 10-year plans will be supported by an annual million-dollar fund, which could grow to $3m a year by the 2019-20 financial year if Leggett’s “devolution of decision-making to the local level” proves successful.
The fund would total $27m over the next 10 years and would be sourced from Wellington City Council’s existing $1.7 billion capital expenditure budget.
Leggett’s policy is similar to an initiative playing out in the suburb of Island Bay in the wake of the cycleway saga that soured relations between residents and the council.
In an attempt to fix that disconnect, the council is consulting with the community again on the future of the cycleway, and is also helping residents create a 10-year plan that will guide how the suburb develops.
Leggett said the concept should be extended to all of Wellington, rather than stopping at Island Bay.
“We’ve got to use the Island Bay debacle for good … what we need to do is change the whole way the council thinks about, and relates to, the community,” he said.
Seems a good idea to me.