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Mayor 'has lost the plot' - Brewer

JAMES IRELAND
Last updated 05:00 05/06/2014

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Mayor Len Brown "got his wires crossed" when speaking about a proposed light rail loop for the south.

Brown's spokesman Glyn Jones says the mayor's idea is not for a light rail "loop" but for a light rail "link" going up Te Irirangi Drive between Manukau and Botany.

"The plan is still 15 to 30 years away from getting off the ground," Jones says.

Brown originally told the Manukau Courier he was looking to take inspiration from the Sydney rail loop by building one from Manukau up through Clover Park, along Te Irirangi Drive, to Highland Park, up Panmure Highway and back to Manukau.

After the article appeared on May 29, councillors Cameron Brewer, Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart got together to denounce the mayor's idea.

Brewer says Brown has "lost the plot" and his focus should be on finding ways to fund the City Rail Link rather than "dreaming up local light rail projects with the sole hope of winning back some support in the south".

Stewart says the council needs to get back to funding core business before looking to get new projects off the ground.

"Rates keep going up and council debt is soaring. The council is under enormous pressure to cut costs, yet the mayor is racing around promising to spend even more," she says.

"Let's not forget that communities are already complaining that many of our town centres, parks and streets are untidy."

Quax echoed his colleagues' feeling while bringing up Brown's 2006 plan to put light rail from Bucklands Beach to Mangere Bridge which never saw the light of day.

"He just can't be taken seriously with these kinds of ridiculous promises which never come with any costings, backing or evidence."

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- Manukau Courier

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