Meeting to discuss abolition of wards

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 05:00 27/08/2012

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Concerned Pleasant Point residents will have the chance to discuss the Timaru District Council's decision to abolish the ward system at a meeting this week.

The meeting, to be held in the Pleasant Point Town Hall on Wednesday, is being called by the Pleasant Point branch of Federated Farmers. An open invitation has been extended to councillors to attend.

Branch chairman Mark Jackson said the meeting was for people to come along and find out about the council's plans.

The Timaru District Council voted this month to abandon the ward system in favour of councillors being elected across the whole district, while retaining the three community boards of Temuka, Pleasant Point and Geraldine.

Mr Jackson said there were concerns about what impact the decision could have on the community. "I know most farmers would probably want to keep the ward system, but we'd like to hear both sides of the story."

The meeting was open to everyone, not just farmers, he said.

"It's quite important to get more information out there than probably what's going on at the moment.

"I think some in the community are a wee bit concerned so we thought we'd give people a public meeting . . . just to get more information out there."

There were concerns the rural voice in the community could be lost, he said. The same concerns were raised when the Timaru city, Strathallan county, Geraldine borough and Temuka borough councils merged in 1989.

"That was one of the promises that was made that they would have their representation heard out there. I think they fear this might be taken away from them."

So far two councillors, Richard Lyon and Jo Taylor, have confirmed their attendance.

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- The Timaru Herald

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