The Chair of Keep Waitakere Beautiful is lashing out at some Auckland Council Officers.
“The Keep Waitakere Beautiful Programme has had its funding cut”, says Iris Donoghue, Chair of Keep Waitakere Beautiful.
Funding has been cut for the popular Trees for Babies programme, and the base funding for KWB has been cut by 33%, and other projects not funded.
Council Officers say that funding for the Keep Waitakere Beautiful fleet of programmes is the same as before, what has changed is that the Auckland Council and the three West Auckland Local Boards being the Whau, Waitakere and Henderson/Massey share the funding of the programme. Just to make the process more complicated different departments within Council share the financial management of the KWB programmes.
However the Local Board Chairs dispute this fact.
Henderson Massey Local Board Chair Vanessa Neeson in the August 2nd edition of the Western Leader claims the council is expecting the boards to pick up the tabs, when it does not have the funding, and also questions the Council commitment to the environment if it is not prepared to adequately fund Keep Waitakere Beautiful.
Perhaps the fact that there was a 3.6% rate rise, with west Auckland residents receiving in many cases a rate reduction has something to do with our local boards having less money to play with?
We believe the Council does not know what each department is now doing.
How do we as residents and ratepayers find out the truth. Do we believe Council Officers or Local Board Chairs? Iris Donoghue is calling on the CEO of Auckland Council, and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to sort out the problem and we hope they do.
For a start there should be more stream lining of departments, because if KWB is running into problems now, it will be the rest of us who will suddenly find that we cannot get our rubbish collected because one Council department will say it has been collected, another will say it hasn’t, another will say they do not know, and another will say the truck went out to collect the rubbish and has come back!
One thing for sure if Trees for Babies disappears because of Council lack of funding, the politicians will have to fund a grove of “In memory” trees for themselves, and Council Officers will have to face constant protests and marches on town hall.
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