Submission to the Auckland Transition Agency on the Discussion Document on Local Boards
As a grassroots community group we value our community voice and the opportunity to actively participate, influence and engage in local decision making. We support the principle of strong local democracy deriving from effective Local Boards with the ability to make decisions on local issues. GL2030 would like to be able to engage with an effective Local Board that has functions that are clearly defined, substantive and meaningful.
Local Boards are intended to have a significant and wide-ranging role. They are required to carry out responsibilities delegated from Council and should also be so embedded in their communities so that they are both watchdogs and proactively working to promote the wellbeing of the communities they represent. They are central to the effectiveness of the new Auckland Council.
Local Boards are the interface between local communities, Auckland Council and the CCOs. The list of responsibilities in Table A of the Discussion Document clearly supports that view. However, the content of the Document provides no certainty that Local Boards will be given the means to carry out the non-regulatory responsibilities that appear to be allocated to them. Further clarification is required under most of the headings for GL2030 to have confidence in the proposals.
How will the CCO’s and the Local Boards work together? There is no clear mechanism by which the Local Boards can negotiate with the CCOs other than through the Auckland Council. Clarification is required.
Delegation of regulatory responsibilities will entirely depend on the elected Councillors. This gives no certainty that Local Boards will be able to respond to the needs of their communities. How will the delegations be managed to be consistent across Boards and over time?
The issue of financing locally-made decisions is left in the air. Will there be a ‘funding formula’ taking into account such factors as population, projected growth and the socio-economic profile of the community? Will there be a pool of discretionary funding under the Board’s direct control, to respond to small-scale, short-term community requests?
The By-law provision is particularly worrying. As a general principle, Auckland Council should only propose By-laws after due consultation with the Local Boards (and thus their communities). Will Local Boards be able to make decisions on the types of signs appropriate in their local areas? What is appropriate for the CBD may not be appropriate out in the Waitakere Ranges or on Great Barrier Island.
One of the biggest concerns is that Auckland Transport is responsible for matters falling within the road corridor and the mechanisms for consultation and decision making between Local Boards, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are not defined. How will the CCO respond to and consult with Local Boards?
We look to ATA to provide the clarity and certainty required in finalising the activities and responsibilities allocated to each Local Board.
Grey Lynn 2030 Steering Committee