FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – sender Paul Richards 027 291 7898
‘How do you feel about spending your rates money on treadmills, cross-trainers and expensive television advertising?’
This was the question asked of the Auckland City Councillors at the Annual Plan Hearing on Friday by Club Physical gym operator Paul Richards.
Key points then made were;
1. The need for local government and government to cut spending – currently borrowing additional $300 million a week and Rugby World cup will bring in less than half of what we are spending to host it
2. Opening fitness centres is an unnecessary cost to council
3. 100% of rate-payers fund a facilities used by less than 2% of ratepayers
4. Private enterprise already provides fitness centres AT NO COST to the rate-payers who don’t use these facilities
5. FREE swimming pools are an unnecessary cost
6. It’s morally short-sighted to take commercial rates from a business with one hand
…..then to threaten its’ ability to pay with the other by competing with the same?
The reasons for each of these points were then expanded upon (these details are available)
The submission was summed up with seven recommendations being made to council;
Seven positive recommendations to council
1. As an alternative to opening more fitness centres, create a voucher system that will subsidise needy ratepayers who apply for it. This could then be used at the local exercise facility of their choice. I recommend centres become registered providers with the council having met certain standards.
2. Encourage exercise by working with local private enterprise facilities on projects like fun runs.
3. Focus more on providing great sports grounds and parks
4. Invest instead into a higher standard of toilet facilities (the ones on Takapuna beach this Christmas were disgusting, second year running)
5. Invest instead and fix the shocking health risk created by the periodic sewage overflow onto our beaches.
6. Avoid wasting funds on treadmills, cross trainers and expensive television advertising.
Mr Richards also urged Councillors to ‘make it a policy to avoid competing with commercial ratepayers’.