Feedback urged on concept of targeted rates

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 15/04/2014
icc rates
LOUISE BERWICK/Fairfax NZ

INFORMED: Martin St business owner Debbie McIntosh, former city councillor Thelma Buck and business owner Dot Wairau look at the city council's draft annual plan which could increase their rates.

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A former long-serving Invercargill city councillor is vowing to ensure the council listens to her community.

South Invercargill resident Thelma Buck said she would not be sitting back and grumbling about the council's suggestion to raise rates higher in south Invercargill than in other parts of the city.

She would instead be canvassing the neighbourhood to ensure the council listened.

Buck rallied disgruntled business owners and shop managers from Martin St at a low-key meeting yesterday to decide on a plan to make sure their voices were heard.

The council is asking for feedback on a suggestion in its draft annual plan from community group South Alive for funding from the council using a targeted rate for south city residents.

The suggestion has caused a stir in south Invercargill.

Councillor Lindsay Abbott was also at the meeting, encouraging people to submit separately on the idea instead of a collective submission. He said the former would have more impact.

Buck said while she thought the idea of higher rates in the south was unfair, she was not pressuring people into submitting against it.

"We are not encouraging people to vote for or against it, we are asking for their opinion."

That seems to be one of the points both South Alive and Buck can agree on.

South Alive chairman Colin Anderson said the group was also encouraging people to submit on the annual plan, but was aiming to remain neutral during the process.

He said it was the council's idea to have a targeted rate system and it was put in the draft annual plan to gauge feedback.

He welcomed feedback both for and against the idea.

 

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