18 Oct 2014

Mayor criticised over Auckland budget

12:22 pm on 18 October 2014

Auckland's local boards are warning that they may have to introduce a new rate to keep community work up to scratch.

Len Brown.

Auckland's local boards have published an open letter to the region's mayor, Len Brown (pictured). Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

All 21 of Auckland's local boards have written a letter criticising the region's mayor, Len Brown, for his failure to keep his word over local investment.

The criticism centres around the Long-Term Plan, which is essentially Auckland's 10-year budget.

At the end of next month, the council hopes to have the draft version complete, then more consultation will occur.

But the local boards say they wish there had been more consultation earlier.

In the three-page letter, they said they have witnessed cuts in funding for local priorities, and that community-based innovation has been stifled because of policy.

The boards said they had significant concerns about the draft budget.

Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton said if finances were stretched, boards may consider introducing a separate rate.

"Philosophically, we came together as one council, one city, one rates and we've been busy trying to equity in those rates. I feel we're going closer to introducing separate rates so we can deliver projects out of those rates."

The boards have the power to do that, and one already does, to fund services like free swimming at some swimming pools.

A spokesperson for the mayor said the feedback will be taken into account when a decision on the draft plan is made next month.

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