INDEPENDENT NEWS

Auckland Slashes Committee Costs

Published: Tue 27 Nov 2001 12:17 AM
Business Happy As Council Gravy Train Screeches To Halt
Auckland's ratepayers are expected to save over $250,000 a year from reduced councillor meeting fees and daily allowances, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.
Related administration costs and the preparation of extraneous reports for council meetings will save many hundreds of thousands of dollars more, the Association says.
"On behalf of Auckland's business and residential ratepayers, the EMA congratulates the new Auckland City Council for halving the number of its councils, sub committees and working parties," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.
"The cuts will save ratepayers funds and make the council's decision making processes far more efficient and effective.
"Few councils in the north had as many committees as Auckland City; for example, North Shore managed well with just nine.
"In the last week of the former Auckland council it had 17 committees, 17 sub-committees and 14 working parties, with councillors receiving payments for each meeting they attended.
"The new Council has cut the total number of committees to 10, plus a handful of sub committees.
"It's also banned the payment of daily meeting allowances on Mondays and Tuesdays, thereby restricting the opportunities for councillors to collect their allowances to the other three days a week.
"We hope other councils will monitor the savings to be made with efficiencies like these and follow Auckland's example. It's a step toward reasserting Auckland City leadership in the region."
Ends

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