Long Term Plan - Record submissions give Council a lot to think about
Westland District Council sat on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 to hear and consider all submissions.
Councillors received submissions and results from the survey on a weekly basis up to the time of the hearing and consideration so they were as updated as much as possible.
Mayor Maureen Pugh said “I am overwhelmed by the passion and interest Westland residents and rate payers have shown by sending over 430 consultation forms and 250 other types of submissions. This is a record number of submissions for Westland.”
Strategic Assets are important to the community and are covered comprehensively in the Local Government Act 2002. In particular the community needs to be informed about the reasons to transfer ownership before a decision is made. This initial consultation has shown how comfortable the community is with this idea at the moment. Many submitters said they were not able to make a decision because they didn’t have enough information about the benefits.
Council wants to do some more work around this to show what the benefits of transferring ownership will be. The community needs to be confident about what Council is doing and why we are doing it. That is why more consultation will occur. In the meantime the property company will help manage some of the assets like Jackson Bay Wharf and the Hokitika Swimming Pool.
Council did note from the submissions that Community Halls are an asset the community does not want to transfer to the property company. Community Halls will be kept within Council. Council would like to remind the community that it does not fund the maintenance or renewal of halls; therefore, it is up to the community to support the upkeep of their local halls in the future if they want them to survive.
- Rubbish bags will be $5 per bag but residents are welcome to use all official Westland District Council rubbish bags no matter what colour they are until they are used up.
- Tancred Street toilet facility will remain open
- Council supports the concept of the Westland Sports Hub to create a multisport facility. This may be some time away.
- The swimming pool will be partially upgraded in the meantime, for example, improving the changing rooms as well as investigating all options to improve the pool itself.
- Council has agreed to fund $25,000 to the Regent Theatre for one year. 75% of this cost will be borne by Hokitika and 25% by the rest of the District on the proviso that Council is provided with business information regularly including cash flow statements and forward bookings. Council staff resources are also made available to the Theatre if they wish.
- Council will maintain the status quo at the Hokitika Museum
- The beachfront development will not go ahead but an updated beachfront erosion report is to be commissioned in order to make informed decisions about the future protection of Hokitika Beach. It is expected this issue will be reviewed extensively in the next three years.
- The consultation form survey results showed that TWC is not supported by the majority of the community. However, Council noted that industry leaders and organisations wanted to give TWC a chance to succeed with their new CEO and Council agreed to fund for another year. They also noted that TWC may like to consider how they can better communicate their value to the whole community.
- Many submissions were about land use or building issues. These submissions have been directed to the Strategy Committee and referred to the current review of the District Plan. The community will have an opportunity to make submissions to this plan in the future.
- Levels of service regarding the control of dogs in the District are being reviewed.
Kamaya Crawford, Communications Advisor said, “The requirement to have the Long Term Plan audited meant we had a very tight timeframe. Our turnaround time was really short. I apologise to any submitter who wanted to be heard by Council that was missed in the sorting of the submissions. We will do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen again. It is really important to Council that the whole community gets to participate in our process. Be assured every submission was considered individually by Council on Tuesday.”
The following documents are available:
Full copies of the documents are available on CD or hardcopy from Council’s Office, 36 Weld Street, Hokitika, on request. The Plan is also available for your perusal at the Council’s office, the District Library, Community Libraries in Westland or by contacting your local Councillor.
Copyright © Westland District Council 2013