Reese questions benefits of three-council accord
Questions have been raised about what a shared services agreement between the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough councils will achieve when so far it lacks any councillor involvement.
The Nelson City Council yesterday gave its support to a top of the south accord which gives it a three-way partnership with neighbours Marlborough and Tasman district councils.
Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio said the memorandum of understanding would cement what was already a "co-operative relationship with our neighbours".
Councillor Rachel Reese said while it was pleasing to see the shared services agreement back on the table, she hoped by now it would have showed some direction on what the priorities might be, or at least a mechanism for achieving that.
"It's missing governance direction," Ms Reese said.
She also questioned how it might achieve "substantial budget savings" when all three councils had just signed off their long-term plans, in which budgets had been determined for the next decade.
The objectives of the memorandum are to set up ways in which shared services can deliver at more streamlined cost improved local infrastructure, public services and regulatory functions in each council area.
City council acting chief executive Richard Johnson said one of the objectives was to create savings through efficiencies.
Mr Miccio said the memorandum gave councillors of all three councils the mandate for their chief executives to work on proposals for joint purchasing and shared services.
"This arrangement will mean that as partners we are making a commitment to our residents to take advantage of opportunities to get more cost efficiency. While we already work with the other two councils in many areas, this agreement to step it up a notch should give real results, while not losing sight of the uniqueness of each area," Mr Miccio said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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