Council Games Begin… or is it continue?

Here’s a letter I sent to the editor of The South Taranaki Star:

“Council Flip-flops Begin

I note from last week’s Star (Oct 17) that rather than deal with the issues, Council has again avoided doing anything constructive on the pokie and gambling issue.

Councillor Ballantyne proposed a sinking lid policy to effectively reduce the number of pokies in the district. Good on him for addressing the issue constructively.

The current policy allowed 154 pokies, and the new decision reduces this to 140. What was not reported is that, according to the Council’s own data, there are currently 131 pokies in the district. So the effect of the change is ZERO.

In fact, the whole process is a waste of time and ratepayers’ money, as the decision has no effect whatever on pokies, and appears to be a cynical exercise in pretending to be seen doing something meaningful.

One Councillor is reported as saying that while she “would prefer a sinking lid policy… she was happy to back the next best option.”

This is another way of saying she did not stick to her principles and would rather vote with the majority so she appears to be on the winning side.

I suggest very strongly that this is why the STDC needs to seriously reconsider how it makes decisions, and whether there are any principles of community well-being that need to be kept in mind. It certainly needs to be discussed further.

Had I been successful in the recent election, I would have proposed a limit of 60 pokies this year, 30 next year, and none thereafter.”

Please discuss this with family and friends.

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