Referendum on water meters not required
Council will be conducting an extensive consultation process on the issue of water meters as part of its Long Term Plan in the April/May period next year, says Mayor Jenny Rowan.
“Some residents have called for a referendum on meters. However, it is Council’s view that a process where people have access to information on what is a complex matter and the ability to talk about their specific concerns in a hearing process, is the appropriate way to go.
“The question of whether there is a referendum is at Council’s discretion, irrespective of any requests to hold one, and the idea of a five percent threshold to require a referendum simply does not apply,” she said.
Last June Council adopted a programme for the introduction of water matters, subject to developing a preferred charging structure. Some submitters last year said they would like further information on the charging regime to be used, before they could come to a final conclusion.
“This information and a recommendation will come from the Charging Regime Advisory Group in March 2012. Once we have this information, then we can proceed to the further promised consultation.”
Mayor Rowan said members of the Charging Regime Advisory Group represented a wide range of interests and would be absolutely focused on developing a fair and equitable system.
“Anyone who is opposed to water meters will have a further opportunity to present their views. Residents who simply want more information on how charges might be set, will also receive more information and have a chance to make their views known before Council proceeds to its final considerations.”