ECan councillors in a flap over charges rise debate

2021-05-20 08:28:55

There was confusion on the Canterbury Regional Council assembly this morning, because it met to deliberate on its long-term plan.

Exterior shots of the Canterbury regional council ECAN (Environment Canterbury) offices.

Picture: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The council not too long ago consulted with the general public on whether or not to extend charges income by 24.5 p.c (choice 1) or 18 p.c (choice 2) subsequent monetary 12 months.

The council employees really helpful choice 1, with some elements of the long-term plan rephrased.

Councillors indicated they wished to comply with employees recommendation as a place to begin to hold out deliberations.

Environment Canterbury chair Jenny Hughey.

Jenny Hughey
Picture: Equipped / ECan

Council chair Jenny Hughey believed there was no want for a debate on the difficulty, and proceeded to maneuver on with the assembly.

This prompted confused faces amongst councillors throughout the desk.

Amongst those that thought a debate was wanted was councillor Lan Pham, who seconded the movement to proceed with the employees choice as a place to begin.

“I simply thought that in our course of dialogue that this was a place to begin for normal dialogue in regards to the choices,” she mentioned.

A confused Hughey subsequently put the assembly on maintain.

“I simply would possibly adjourn the assembly for a minute as a result of I do not truly know what we’re doing right here, so I am simply going to cease for a minute and take some recommendation,” she mentioned.

After the adjournment, Hughey dominated that there could be no debate, and mentioned the employees recommendation had already been accepted by councillors.

However there was extra confusion to return.

This time it was round using the phrases choice 1, and Hughey adjourned the assembly for a second time.

After extra authorized session, Hughey mentioned the movement ought to truly learn: “the council receives submissions on choices and charges affordability, and adopts employees recommendation primarily based on choice 1 … as introduced in as we speak’s deliberation, earlier than contemplating every deliberation”.

“That is what I assumed we have been adopting once we did choice 1, however there was a misunderstanding right here so now we have now received it sorted and that is what we’re transferring,” she mentioned.

Councillors lastly seemed to be on the identical web page, and the movement was handed with out objection.

“Anyone towards? No, thank goodness,” Hughey mentioned.

The councillors proceeded to make deliberations primarily based on the employees advice (choice 1, however with elements rephrased).

Nonetheless, as we speak’s assembly wouldn’t make the ultimate choice on which charges choice to decide on.

That might be determined in June.

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