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Hundreds of people taking part in Chch City Council Plan hearings

1 June 2006

By 5pm on Friday (2 June) Christchurch City Councillors will have heard from more than 400 members of the public who have presented submissions on the draft Community Plan, over eight full days of public hearings.

Council Chief Executive, Dr Lesley McTurk, says the current hearings under way at the Council are an important part of the consultation process over the Plan, as are the 2000-plus submissions received from members of the public.

Dr McTurk says it shows a high level of engagement by the community with their elected members about the way our city looks and feels, and the services they see as important.

“The decision-making process the Mayor and Councillors undertake includes listening to the range of community views and balancing these with the needs of the city as a whole, while also looking to the needs of future generations.

“It has been a good process in an appropriate forum. Elected members have said it is a privilege to hear directly from those citizens taking part in the democratic process,” Dr McTurk says.

“Although some proposals in the Plan have attracted criticism, it has been important for the communities affected to have the opportunity to contribute to the debate – and the consultation process has enabled this to happen.

“Elected members are now better informed about the community's views before they begin the difficult task of making final decisions on the Community Plan, including level of rates going forward.”

Dr McTurk maintains the democratic decision-making process has been open and transparent. “The Council has welcomed the community's input to ensure they are well informed and in touch with their constituents' views.”

Hearings continue next week with three further days aside for hearings about the council’s Development Contributions Policy.

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