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Getting people into affordable housing and working out how to fill empty shops in Alexandra will be priorities of Central Otago’s re-elected mayor, he says.

Tim Cadogan is now the district’s Mayor-elect following a landslide victory against his mayoral challenger Victoria Bonham in last week’s local government elections.

Mr Cadogan said there would be a “bedding in” period for the rest of the year for the new council, which features four new councillors: Tamah Alley, Tracy Paterson and Ian Cooney in the Vincent ward, and Cheryl Laws, in the Cromwell ward.

But at the beginning of the year Mr Cadogan would launch into two important causes, he said.

The first was affordable housing, which was the biggest issue facing Central Otago and one on which he had already been working, he said.

Mr Cadogan, who established the Central Otago Affordable Housing Trust during his first term as Mayor, said he “firmly” believed council had a role to play in tackling the housing issue, which was felt acutely because of the district’s low wage economy and high house prices.

He said he was keen to see a council report he had requested early last year about the housing issue completed, and for recommendations of the affordable housing trust to start being adopted.

The trust’s recommendations include that the Cromwell Community Board provide Cromwell land for a “secure homes” affordable housing scheme.

The trust has also recommended the council introduce “inclusionary zoning” policies to its district plan. This would mean a landowner or developer was required to deliver affordable homes as part of a new land development.

Mr Cadogan said the other thing he would do was form a mayoral taskforce to address the issue of the large number of empty retail spaces in Alexandra.

Mr Cadogan and all councillors will be sworn in at a ceremony in council chambers on October 23.

Community board members will be sworn in at meetings held over the next few months.

Six new community board members have been elected: Tony Buchanan, for the Cromwell board; Mark Harris, for the Maniototo board; Anna Robinson and Roger Browne, for the Vincent board; and Cushla Browning and Norman Dalley, for the Teviot board.

Community board members re-elected are Robin Dicey, Anna Harrison and Werner Murray (Cromwell); Russell Garbutt and Sharleen Stirling-Lindsay (Vincent); Duncan Helm, Robert Hazlett and Sue Umbers (Maniototo); and Raymond Gunn and Sally Feinerman (Teviot Valley).

Councillors re-elected are Martin McPherson and Lynley Claridge (Vincent ward); Nigel McKinlay, Neil Gillespie and Shirley Calvert (Cromwell); and Stephen Jeffery (Teviot Valley) and Stu Duncan (Maniototo), who were both re-elected unopposed.

PAM.JONES

@alliedpress.co.nz