Nearly $500,000 opened up after community committees ditched
The disestablishment of four community committeeshas opened up $480,000 for local projects and community assets in the Hutt Valley.
Hutt City Council decided to disestablish the committees last year and a motion to replace them with a community panel was endorsed during a meeting on May 23.
The extra funding comes from money previously allocated to committee members' salaries.
The panel members will be paid an honorarium.
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Hutt City community services general manager Matt Reid said the fundamental difference was that panel members would not be paid a major salary, with more money being redirected into the community.
"The four panels will have $120,000 [each] for new community assets and projects. What that funding is used for will be up to the community panels."
Panel members will be expected to engage with their communities and stakeholders, and provide feedback to council.
"They will continue to provide important representation in annual planning meetings and for other significant matters."
"The projects fund will be committed to community assets such as playgrounds, murals, community gardens, safety improvements or community assets that are unable to be funded by council's annual budget," a council statement said.
Duties such as dealing with traffic management issues, the naming of new roads, parks reserves and sports grounds, granting leases of council property to community groups and the planting and removal of street trees which were formerly handled by the committees have been absorbed by other council bodies.
The panels representing Northern, Central, Eastern and Western Hills ward communities will each consist of up to five non-elected council members and ward councillors.
Council is currently seeking expressions of interest from those wanting to become panel members who would then be selected through a transparent process of applications and interviews over the next six weeks.
- Hutt News