Council workshops are valuable, because local government deals with complex issues.
No decisions can be made in a workshop, and that is a legal requirement, but workshops are an opportunity for staff and councillors to understand the quite serious issues facing their ratepayers. After the workshops it gives staff the chance to then prepare their reports for committee deliberation, where debate in public takes place.
Workshops should not include the public, until all councillors are fully understanding of policy changing options, which they debate in public, and then open for consultation with their communities so everyone can be involved.
To have the public in a workshop where sometimes half-baked ideas may come forward, hinders councillors from asking the questions and hinders the necessity to get a full understanding, and it stops all councillors becoming thoroughly informed of detail.
Committee stage is where debate should occur, then at council after the community has been consulted. (Abridged)
Compulsory purchase empty houses
National has the wrong idea for dealing with the housing crisis, it wants to build more houses and free up more land - that will not solve the problems.
We cannot build houses faster, there are not enough builders, not enough bricks, not near enough wood, not enough plumbers or electricians, and not enough carpenters, so just who is going to build all these houses?
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The only solution is the compulsory purchase of empty houses (in excess of 20,000) and to stop speculators investing in houses - no private landlords. Nothing else will work.
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