The Government has broken its promise to the people of Christchurch and Canterbury and says that will now be no new election for Environment Canterbury next year - although the people of the region are still expected to pay for its operation. What has Sideshow Bob got to say about it? He's refusing to comment - no surprise there. But no one else on the Christchurch City Council is talking either.
The National Government has disgracefully cancelled next year’s election for Environment Canterbury (ECan), and are instead continuing with the Government-appointed Commissioners until 2016. It has gone back on promise to have an election in 2013.
This is a continuation of the Government's pro- corporate and pro-irrigation agenda. The National Government thinks that the organisations whose interests it represents should continue to have free access to Canterbury's waterways regardless of what anyone else thinks. The people of Christchurch and Canterbury will continue to have no say in who manages the local environment - and how they manage it. There might be real problems with representative democracy but at least we had it - now it is being denied to the local Canterbury people but who are still expected to pay the bills for ECan.
So now the people of Christchurch and Canterbury will have no say in the rebuilding of the city and no say in how the region’s water, coast, air conditions are managed.
This is the point former mayor Garry Moore made today when he commented that central government, through the Canterbury Earthquake Authority, the Christchurch Central Development Unit and ECan's government-appointed commissioners, had taken over the running of Christchurch and is now calling all the shots, but expecting ratepayers to pick up the bill for its decisions.
"Local government has been turned into a eunuch by central government," he told The Press.
But what of the present mayor? Sideshow Bob has made a defiant stand for the people and said... he will not be drawn into the debate. What a gutless response but so typical of a politician who has taken brown-nosing to a new level.
But let's not forget that Sideshow actively campaigned for the sacking of all the ECan councillors in the first place. In 2010 he said that the removal of the councillors was a 'constructive' move. So we all know where Bob stands on this - right next to Gerry Brownlee and Local Government Minister David Carter.
But its not only Sideshow Bob who is at fault here. All his councillors have refused to comment publicly because they claim they need to retain a 'working relationship 'with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and its officials. So the people of Christchurch get well and truly done over and all 'our' councillors are worried about is upsetting Roger Sutton?
These councillors need to be reminded they were voted into office and the high salaries to represent the interests of local people. They weren't voted into office to play footsie with Roger Sutton and Gerry Brownlee.