The ‘Ask Us First’ group led by Jackie Elliott says 5000 anti-water meter signatures have been gathered from Kapiti public in just six weeks.
The campaigners are calling a ratepayer-initiated referendum on the issue. ( it would be KCDC’s first referendum).
Petition organiser Jackie Elliott says:”There is strong feeling not only against the water meters that we can’t afford, but also against Council’s management and fiscal decision making.”
‘Public demand for consultation’
“The public are demanding an extra layer of consultation which could easily take place.
“The Mayor has refused to hold a put the question on water meters to a public test and says she couldn’t be forced by the amount of opposition to the scheme, as there is no 5% thresh-hold that would force a binding referendum.”
But, Ms Elliott says, “Petition campaigners are delighted with the fact we have already gained over 4 times that threshold.
“Many signatories feel that Council are treating them as stupid while they plough ahead with controversial plans, despite the public’s express disapproval.”
First referendum request on August 5
Ms Elliott also says she made her first public, formal, request for a referendum on August 5.
Thirteen days later, while she waited for a reply (which she says she never got) Council’s Corporate Committee approved a $25million loan to buy and install the water meters.
She adds:” In the same meeting they made the decision to announce plans to join the Local Government Funding Agency, using 25,000 ratepayers homes as collateral. The public consultation period for this frightening policy was a mere 4 weeks!
“The Public voiced real anger at the lack of information and shortness of the six-weeks consultation period allowed for the first water meter consultation last March. But Council have responded by halving that timeframe to join the Funding Agency to four weeks.
The ‘Ask Us First’ petition will be presented at a Council Public meeting at 10am on November 17.