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Chch Council plans change in support for community boards

19 August 2004

A proposal for a change to the way Christchurch City Council internally supports its  community boards has today been presented to affected staff for their feedback.

If adopted, the community board support role would be separated from that of building relationships with local communities and community groups. The result would be stronger, more specialised staff support.

It would also be a better fit with the current Council structure, says Peter Mitchell, the general manager of Regulation and Democracy Services.

Staff specialising in support of the community boards would be in Mr Mitchell’s Regulation and Democracy Services Group, while those working on community development and engagement would be inside the Community Services Group, under general manager Stephen McArthur.

Under the proposal there would be 47.5 existing positions reconfirmed, 25 new positions created and 30 existing positions disestablished. There is a possibility of redundancies if affected staff are unsuccessful in applications for new positions.

“This is not a cost-cutting measure because the total cost to Council is about the same. The aim is to improve the quality of support for community boards while providing a more logical structure to achieve better outcomes in community development and engagement,” Mr Mitchell says.

Messrs Mitchell and McArthur spoke to affected staff about the proposal at a meeting today. A representative of the Southern Local Government Officers’ Union was present.

Affected staff are being provided with full Council support and are being encouraged to provide feedback on the proposal before a final decision is made on 26 August, when consultation closes.

Background: Community Boards

Christchurch has six community boards each representing two of the city’s 12 wards. Each Board is made up of six elected members and three Councillors appointed by the Council. They provide a link between local communities and the Council.

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