Grant Gillon says he wonders what Kaipatiki has done to Auckland Council and Auckland Transport to have them treat the community in such an off-hand and reprehensible manner.
The Kaipatiki Local Board member says shortly after learning that the council had chosen to adopt the board’s austerity budget, which would push out key projects, he was informed that Auckland Transport has decided to delay the Highbury Town Centre upgrade, the Glenfield upgrade and the Beach Haven ferry project.
Mr Gillon says the Highbury Town Centre and Glenfield upgrades have been pushed out past the 10 years and the Beach Haven ferry project has been reforecast to start in 2016/17.
“This action is not only appalling, done without consultation with the board but detrimental to the economic and social well-being of the local community,” he says.
Mr Gillon says many hours were spent consulting with the local community over the Highbury Town Centre.
“We were starting to firm up proposals when we have been hit with this decision,” he says.
Mr Gillon says it is a similar story with the Beach Haven ferry project.
“It is an issue that has been hot for local residents as promise after promise has been broken,” he says.
Chairwoman Lindsay Waugh says the board is “absolutely committed” to the ferry project and is very conscious that community expectations have been raised and dashed time and time again since the mid-1970s.
“We are determined that this project gets reinstated and will be making every effort to get this decision reversed before the governing body meets on June 28 to sign off the Long-Term Plan,” she says.
First, the governing body did not approve the additional funds of $3.3 million the board requested to balance its 10-year budget.
Despite having 88,000 residents and ranking sixth in population the board receives the least amount of funding on a per head basis.
Mr Gillon says the budgetary blow must place Kaipatiki not only behind all the other local boards but the effects on the community will be devastating for years to come. The delay has been done to free up $10 million for discretionary allocations to boards rather than project management, he says.
– © Fairfax NZ News
Written by: LISA HONEYBONE
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times