The problem with agreeing to give interviews with Newspapers is that they invariably put what you say out of context.
This mornings quote in the Herald by me is verging on that and I just wanted to put things straight.
For the record I do not have an issue with change and are all for progress, I think that generally the inner city is improving dramatically and after retailing in it for nearly 25 years I have seen a lot of change.
My issue is with Council and their apparent inability to get even the most basic aspects of their civil duty correct.
Many of the issues facing High Street, and the inner city in general, stem from poor housekeeping and a general lack of attention to detail.
I have bleated on before about these issues, I will again.
I think that pouring millions of dollars of our ratepayer money into creating shared spaces is short sighted if the real issues facing the central city aren't addressed.
Look at Fort Lane ( apparently improved), it is a sea of trash, broken glass and cigarette butts Thursday - Sunday when vistors to the city are exploring it.
Likewise Britomart, which is why they employ their own cleaners to keep the area clean rather than relying on Council contractors.
Re paving and widening or narrowing don't solve the issues of public safety, signage, lighting, rubbish etc. These are all things that should be able to be addressed within existing budgets.
Yes: Improve the City but don't meddle and fix things without first trying to work out why they arent functioning as well as they could.
Get rid of the tradesmans vans off the street during peak times, fine cafes for leaving their trash out and fine bars for the cigarette butts they leave on the street at the end of the night.
There are cities much larger than Auckland with worst congestion than ours ( like Sydney) but if you walk through Pitt Street Mall or along George Street at 7 am there are no bottles, no rubbish and the chewing gum has been removed off the street. Why can't we have the same?