Councillors absence…

lbfranklinOur local paper, the Franklin County News, has a story in their paper today about the lack of councillors turning up for meetings.
Maybe in general, that is not such a big thing BUT the “half empty room of Auckland councillors” which greeted the Franklin Local Board should have had more importance lent to it as the board were presenting the communities feedback on the Auckland Unitary Plan last week!
Franklin’s Local Board Chair, Andy Baker, has said that only 10 councillors were present at the meeting. That is only half the number of councillors. How can they make informed decisions on what the area wants, expects and needs, if they don’t even bother to turn up to hear the submissions? Council has predicted a growth in Pukekohe alone of up to 50,000 over the next 30 years so one would expect the council to actually care to be at meetings that give them an idea of whatt he region is looking for.
Mr Baker is quoted as saying “There are a number of councillors, who will ultimately be responsible for the final desicion-making, who have continually been absent from the owrkshops where we discuss in-depth the feedback from the public, local board views and advice from staff”
This region needs to make sure that it has it’s productive land protected and avoid development where infrastructure is difficult or costly to access, such as roading and water.
Many of the regions locals feel that the current developments are “very city-centric and would not suit the Franklin area” and there is also concern that the roading arterial route, talked about for years, has gone, and is going nowhere, when the need is here and now, to have better connections from west to east and getting the heavy traffic off urban streets.

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