Sustainability work will continue – council

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Much of the work previously done with funding since cut from Central Otago Reap will continue through other arrangements, the Central Otago District Council says.

The council hit headlines last month when it cut $54,000 of funding used for Reap’s sustainable living programme.

The move led to one Reap staff redundancy and the cancellation of Alexandra’s thyme festival, and was criticised by many in the district.

Council managers said the sustainable living programme was funded from a waste levy, but did not meet the levy’s requirements.

Reallocation of the $54,000 would reach more people, it said.

Infrastructure services executive manager Julie Muir told councillors last week at the waste and property committee meeting many of the sustainability workshops previously co-ordinated by Reap would continue, but would be organised directly by the council. The council was also planning to use its libraries for further workshops.

Deputy mayor Neil Gillespie said contracting out less to third parties was a good thing and meant “we’re [the council] going to own it”.

“Now we’re in a position where we’re mature enough and we’ve grown enough to do some of this ourselves.”

Ms Muir said council departments could also encourage sustainability.

The council was taking its sustainability strategy seriously, and had formed a staff working group, Ms Muir said.

Dozens of ideas had already come through, and the council was measuring and trying to reduce its carbon footprint, she said.

PAM.JONES

@alliedpress.co.nz