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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

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24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

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21/1 Merge districts

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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

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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


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GroenLinks on districts: ‘Be a man’

7 February 2009 – If districts are to merge in 2010, they should also be given more powers. That is the view expressed by fourteen district party leaders of GroenLinks in an open letter, in which they embrace the plans to reduce the number of districts.

Districts should be given responsibility for the events policies, building and maintenance of roads, integration courses, camera surveillance and measures against buildings being left unused. Districts can only operate in a credible manner if their administrators actually have powers, the letter argues.

Co-signatory Rutger Groot Wassink (Westerpark) would like to go one step further. As far as he is concerned, districts are given not only the responsibility for integration courses, but also for supporting job-seekers and for home care.

If the districts merge into units that comprise at least 80,000 residents, they will be large enough to be able to handle this kind of responsibilities, Groot Wassink argues. He further points out that the municipality has so far been less than successful in organising integration courses and support for job seekers.

Groot Wassink further argues for new district boundaries that create districts that comprise a ‘social mix’, without ‘social challenges’ being concentrated in a few districts. Also, citizen participation in district policies should remain guaranteed.

He disagrees with the proposition of dozens of PvdA politicians to conduct additional research before deciding on the district system. “Delay can easily result in abandoning the project. It’s a complicated process, and further research won’t change that. So I’d say: be a man and take the plunge”.

In the media, it has been suggested that some PvdA politicians are afraid to lose their position of power. Asked whether this plays a role, Groot Wassink says: “I do have that impression, but that shouldn’t be an argument, should it?”


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