Licensing Trust concept popular

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Jeremy Greenbrook-Held

At the Western Heights Residents and Ratepayers meet the candidates evening on Friday, a member of the audience asked what the council candidates thought was the best way forward for alcohol sales under the Supercity. All the candidates universally said that they support the Waitakere Licensing Trust, and wouldn’t alter it’s role in our community.

So it’s really great to see the licensing trust concept is also popular in other parts of Auckland:

“It is time for alcohol in our community to be controlled by the community”, says Michael Wood a spokesperson for Roskill Community Voice, which is launching a policy to bring back community controlled liquor licensing trusts.

“Everyone is concerned about alcohol related problems in our community, but no one is taking decisive action. A big part of the problem is that local communities have very little say over alcohol issues in their own backyard”, continues Mr Wood.

“Licensing trusts are community controlled organisations that have authority to exercise control over liquor in a community. The people of the community elect and hold to account the elected trustees of the Trust. Any excess proceeds made by the Trust are put back into the community. This flow of funding could replace the money that is currently given to community groups by the scourge of pokies in our community”.

“Due to a law change in the 1990s, communities no longer have the right to establish licensing trusts. A Roskill Community Voice controlled Local Board will campaign for the re-establishment of modern Local Licensing Trusts where communities support them, and will seek the support of an MP to introduce legislation allowing for this. If successful we will go to the people of Mt Roskill to seek their approval for the establishment of a local trust”.

“The free market in liquor has failed, and it is time that local communities took some control back. Instead of looking for easy populist solutions like blaming young people for all of our liquor related problems, we need to give local communities the power to work out local solutions. We will be campaigning hard on this important policy”, concludes Mr Wood.

Future West is running three candidates for the Portage Licensing Trust (Neil Henderson, Brett Austin, and Ami Chand) and one candidate for the Waitakere Licensing Trust (Jeremy Greenbrook-Held).

Greg Presland, Future West Chair

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Future West Chair and candidate for the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, Greg Presland talks about why it is important that West Aucklanders vote Future West in the upcoming local body elections.

Save Waitakere One

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By Greg Presland

The formation of the super city is supposedly motivated by achieving efficiencies and saving money.  For westies this does not appear likely.  C&R appear to be determined to push through bulk wastewater charges, despite the opposition of some of its more outlying candidates.  This will mean a significant increase for most Westie families.  There is also the cost of a new computer system, the cost of reorganisation of 8 significant organizations into one and Auckland City’s neglect of its wastewater systems will become a regional expense.

So I was surprised to hear that the Auckland Transition Agency has indicated that it wants to build new premises for the Waitakere Ranges Local Board in the Glen Eden area, presumably at significant cost.

I thought that we could be spared the expense and share Waitakere’s former Council Chamber with the Henderson Massey Local Board.  Sharing occurs now.  Waitakere Community Board and the Henderson Community Board both currently use the Chamber along with the Council.  If Len Brown is elected he has promised to circulate Council meetings throughout the region and the Chamber would be ideal for meetings out west.

I have a certain affinity with the building.  Denise Yates and I were part of the Council that decided to build it.  There was intense debate at the time and we both voted against a prior proposal to build new premises on Ratanui Street, essentially on the basis that it would cost too much and that we could not see it working or the claimed economic benefits materialising.

The site where the current Chamber is situated then came on the market.  It was a cheaper option and offered also the benefit of integrating a brand new Rail Station into the development.  By building there we were making a statement that public transport especially rail is vital and that developments like the Council building should be on transport hubs, thereby reducing the need to drive and increasing the desirability of public transport.

The ATA intend to turn the Chambers into offices for use by Council officers.  Retiring chair of the Waitakere Community Board Kubi Witten Hannah intends to oppose this.  I for one will be supporting him.

Media Release: FUTURE WEST CANDIDATES ANNOUNCED

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Future West Team

The Future West team has selected the candidates they wish to stand in the Waitakere Ward for the Auckland Council elections in October under the banner “Future West”.

The values Future West candidates are campaigning on include:
– keeping public assets in public ownership, no privatisation;
– restoring local democracy;
– retaining local identity for communities and ensuring they have a strong voice.

“The candidates that we have picked to stand for the Future West team have a great mixture of skills, experience, background, age, enthusiasm and ethnicity that we think reflects the diversity of the ward” says Future West Chair Greg Presland.

“The candidates we have selected represent the grassroots community and will be working together to restore democracy to the Super City for the future of everyone in the Waitakere Ranges, Henderson and Massey” says GAG President Mels Barton.

The candidates standing for the Waitakere Ranges Local Board in the Waitakere Ward for Future West are:

Greg Presland
Denise Yates
Neil Henderson
Steve Tollestrup

The candidates standing for the Henderson-Massey Local Board in the Waitakere Ward for Future West are:

Jeremy Greenbrook-Held
Melody Shinnick
Gary Stewart
Lyndon Walker
Lincoln Dam
Richard Prakash

The candidates standing for the Portage Licensing Trust for Future West are:

Lorraine Wilson
Ami Chand
Neil Henderson
Brett Austin

The candidate standing for the Waitakere Licensing Trust for Future West is:

Jeremy Greenbrook-Held

More details regarding all candidates are available on the Future West and City Vision websites at www.futurewest.org.nz

Future West is a coalition of the Labour Party, Green Party and independent community groups.
ENDS
Media contact: For more information contact
Mels Barton on 021 213 7779 or mels@wombatsenvironmental.co.nz
Tony Dunn on 021 812 840 or tony.dunn@greens.org.nz
Or Greg Presland on 021998411 or walaw@paradise.net.nz

Strong Community Partnerships Essential

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Steve Tollestrup

Key to the success of the new local boards will be their relationship with community groups. For Future West community based organisations and groups are absolutely vital to ensuring local democracy thrives  and meaningful engagement  and accountability is in place. A commitment to community partnerships is a core promise we are making to the Waitakere Ranges voter.

You can expect Citizen’s and Ratepayers to come out with all sorts of wonderful promises of support for local Community groups. Beware – facts on the ground are very different.

Citizens and Ratepayers on the Auckland City Council denied $80,000 for community assistance on the same day they voted in $36 million extra dollars for Rugby World Cup events. Among those who had received cuts from  Auckland Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation Charitable Trust; Cystic Fibrosis Assn of New Zealand, Auckland, Laura Fergusson Trust for Disabled Persons Auckland Inc.

Expect cuts to local Charitable funding from a C and R dominated local board or City Council. These will include community welfare, education, sports, arts, and environment. Cuts will hit particularly hard the elderly and unemployed who presently enjoy access to many local programmes provided by Waitakere based charities and churches.

This is no exaggeration. You do not need a crystal ball. We can all see the future by looking no further than C and A’s National Party minders; cuts to enviroschools, Combined Beneficiaries Union, community education and pre-school education just for starters.

Future West is committed to your community voice through a strong partnership with local Waitakere Community based organisations.