Tuesday, October 20, 2009

PC Councils

Muriel Newman talking about the PC-Brigade, especially within City/Town Councils.

The sad reality is that such actions are not exceptional. [Requiring a woman making jam for a fund-raiser to have her kitchen upgraded to a commerical standard.] They are typical of a new culture that has permeated councils - and many central government agencies. But it’s time for local councils to get real, or get out of the way. They should become ‘enabling’ in the way that they deal with their citizens, or they should be stripped of their powers. Thanks to Labour’s legacy of social engineering and economic neglect, this is now a crucial issue as the economy has stalled and the government’s financial accounts are recording their biggest ever deficit. Unfortunately those figures are more than ugly numbers – the ballooning deficit will inevitably mean that someone has to pay for the incompetence of the bureaucracy and the fact that it is holding the country back. And of course, that someone will be taxpayers, who will be expected to pay through higher direct and indirect taxes.

That’s why, it is critical that Labour’s debilitating legacy be erased - and quickly! Now more than ever we need a ‘can do’ approach at all levels of bureaucracy. Local government can start by changing its attitude and central government can force their hand by dealing to the badly flawed Local Government Act which presumed far too much when it gave councils the powers of general competence and enabled them to focus on the social, cultural, environmental and economic “wellbeings” within their communities.

Muriel has a good deal more to say about what she feels is holding the economy back; she doesn't mention Dunedin City Council, but ought to: their pushing through of the grandiose stadium has made people give up on them as having any integrity, and the recent debacle where they changed all the parking times and costs around the city caused such a backlash that they were forced to revert, in many cases, to what had been before.
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