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Local and regional issues on the mind of new councillor

Nov 26th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, Local body elections, News

CouncilNEWL

COMMUNICATION with voters is one of the big tasks on the council agenda for Northern Ward representative Malcolm Sparrow.

He says jobs for young people are important to him, and he intends to liaise with local businesses.

“It really is individual councillors’ responsibilities to ensure they are visible to their voters,” Mr Sparrow said.

Mr Sparrow says during his campaign, he personally introduced himself to more than half of the Northern Ward.

Mr Sparrow is the former Tawa Community Board chairperson, but he will be dealing with bigger issues such as the super city question.

He supports amalgamation of councils in the Greater Wellington region, because the economy should progress as a united city.

“One of the big dangers of having a biggish supercity is that the views of smaller communities can be lost.”

“Personally, I would see the council liaising with the local business community.”

Although there are some bigger picture issues to work out, Mr Sparrow acknowledges the day to day concerns of local people.

Newswire visited the Newlands Community Centre during their Friday Senior’s Lunch to ask locals what they would like their new council to address.

Alan Smith, above, 75, who worked in the exports industry before retiring, getting around the streets was a focus.

“I would like better places to walk. Maybe put a bus stop outside my door.

They could put more street lights down in town. It gets very dark, they should do it for the young ones,” said Mr Smith, who was born and bred in the northern suburbs.

He remembers a time when public transport was different.

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“The puffing billy used to run through here, and as it went past we used to throw meat [on the train] for exporting to Britain.”

Mr Smith had never heard of incumbent councillor and new Deputy Mayor Cr Lester, but said he looks like “a very nice man” at candidate meetings.

Mr Smith has high praise for ‘the lovely ladies’ at Newlands Community Centre said locals should make the most of the $2 senior lunches.

Ralph Brickhouse, left, 74, said people do not have a right to moan and groan if they do not vote.“I think the council does its best.”

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“Can you believe that they got me a nice new driveway when they were redoing the road?

“They paid for it. It was free. I thought that was very nice of them.”

Mr Brickhouse, a lifelong voter who has never met any of the councillors he has voted for, has one thing on his wishlist.

“The council could put lids on recycling bins. It gets out all over the street and it just looks awful. I see it flying everywhere every week.”

 Vincent John Aspey, right, 73, Tawa resident, former Tawa College teacher, and lifelong voter would like to see more youth initiatives.

While he only met one candidate, he has faith that his councillors will do the job.

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