Well now that the first two months of the new Council have been completed, how well is it faring? Is it meeting well the oft-touted claims of accountability and transparency? Are we starting to see cost efficiencies?
Unfortunately, things have started in a bit of a muddle. In the first week of November many Councillors’ contact phone numbers were unavailable. In the second week of November most Local Board members still had no contact phone numbers available on the Council website and the Customer Service division was unaware of the details. In fact it appears that even in week two a number of Local Board members were still unaware of what their actual job descriptions were.
In the first week of November many ratepayers from the former Manukau City were shocked to find their water rates had been direct debited twice from their bank accounts. It is my understanding that any bank charges put onto ratepayers were subsequently picked up by Auckland Council.
Then, in the second week of November Council pensioners from the former Manukau City had their rents deducted twice. This was hurriedly reversed by the following day but a repeat performance took place in the week before Christmas.
Let’s hope we are now over the hiccups and things run a little more smoothly and efficiently in the years ahead.