Roads become 'top priority'

Hugh Perkins.
Hugh Perkins.
The growing public demand for better rural roads in the Waitaki district has been heard, and will be acted on, councillors on the newly-elected Waitaki District Council say.

At the first regular full council meeting yesterday, councillors said rural roads had to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Cr Hugh Perkins said there had been a ''significant drop'' in public approval over the past year on the state of the district's rural roads, and said there needed to be more communication with the community to ''address the gap between expectations and service''.

Cr Cathy Dennison said the issue of rural roads was a common theme behind the election of many of the new council members, and it had to be a ''top priority'' for the council.

''I think it's a top priority for all councillors.''

Chief executive Michael Ross added that the new Waihemo Community Board was due to be sworn in last night, and he was confident discussions to deal with roading issues around Moeraki would be ''under way quickly''.

An annual residents' survey conducted by the council in July, revealed the numbers of residents satisfied with council roads had nearly halved from the previous year.

Less than 35% of people said they were satisfied with the level of service provide by the council this year on roading, compared with more than 60% in 2012.

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