News from Amsterdam

To the front page

11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


2008 Archive

2007 Archive

2006 Archive

2005 Archive





Zuideramstel complains about nimbies

8 June 2008 - Residents of Zuideramstel are only interested in politics when their own interests are at stake, complains district chairman Duco Adema (PvdA). VVD and GroenLinks say he should stop 'whining'.

In a column at the well-visited website for civil servants, Adema says that the public gallery was 'packed' when the district council debated the controversial renovation of the Rijnstraat. But when the plans for the coming year were debated, there was only a solitary civil servant sitting there.

Adema says he tries his best to keep in touch with citizens, but "I find it striking how intensely involved people are when it regards their own interests. But also how absent people are when we are looking back or looking ahead in a broader sense".

VVD party leader Pim Hallensleben, speaking in a personal capacity, says that residents do indeed show nimby behaviour. They want to live in a city without having to face the consequences and they will do anything to get their way: "they mutter and shout who knows what".

However, Hallensleben says it is a "waste of your time to keep on whining about that".

He points to the limitations of district politics. For example, they have little influence on the construction of the Zuidas business district, a project that only has disadvantages for most residents. Incidentally, that does not apply to house owners like himself: "their wealth increases by the day".

For the rest, there are few serious problems in the affluent district, according to Hallensleben. "The only problem people face is: where can I park my car".

According to GroenLinks party leader Jan Kok, few people come to general debates because they are simply boring. He says that coalition parties are afraid to criticise the administration, even though they are often unhappy with its policies.

He blames this partly on the district chairman's dominant position. "Especially the PvdA council members should extricate themselves from Adema".

In addition, Kok says that the new way in which council meetings are organised leaves little room for debate. "The council has theatrical aspects. You should show your followers: this is what I stand for".

Kok further says that the district should do more to involve citizens in policy making. "There are enormous capabilities in the neighbourhood. Retired lawyers are living here, they think they are treated like children. And they know exactly how to challenge a decision".

Adema's column (in Dutch). Image: protest meeting against the Rijnstraat plans (photo Louis Hofman)


Want to receive News from Amsterdam? Click here

This is the old website. Please find new content here