Councillors hear community
Members of the community will make their submissions heard at hearings on the draft Long Term Plan 2015 – 2025 next week.
Council’s month long consultation on the draft plan ended on 17 April with a total of 308 written submissions from a majority of local individuals or community groups.
“That’s over a thousand pages of submissions for Council to read and comprehend,” says Mayor Meng Foon,
“Our community engaged with us through many modes of communication, at public meetings, through email, Facebook, twitter. I received phone calls and was stopped by people for a chat in the supermarket and at the Farmers market.
“It will be an intense 3 days of concentration as we hear from just a fraction of those submitters.”
68 submitters who wanted to speak to their submissions will each make 10 minute presentations to Councillors when hearings start on Monday, running through until Wednesday morning.
School students from a number of schools contributed to submissions and groups from Wainui Beach School and Ormond School will present on their proposed ideas for future plans.
At Wainui Beach School a team of 4 senior students consulted with 5 classes and gathered responses to a series of questions relating to the Tairawhiti area and some of the Council projects included in the ten year plan.
When asked what changes would they would like to see, responses included recycling bins at parks and sports grounds, ideas for activities and developments at the Olympic Pools, suggestions for the Titirangi Restoration and more plantings in playgrounds and reserves.
Olympic Pool manager Hendrik Geyer said it was great to see students taking an active interest in future development, some of the ideas for the Olympic Pool Complex we can try to implement in time for this summer.
The proposed plans for cycle and walkways was by far the most talked about topic with 214 submission comments; almost 95% of those in support of cycleway projects
As part of their submission Tourism Eastland encouraged Council to “Continue investment in cycling infrastructure as this makes our city a nicer place to be and provides active transport solutions and cycle tourism.”
The draft plan shows a staged approach to creating a whole network of routes and safety improvements in both Gisborne and rural communities. Many submissions provided arguments for and against the priority of which cycleways should be built first.
Strategic manager David Wilson says “Council can consider prioritising school cycling routes within the current budgets set for each year.”
Mayor Meng Foon says overall submissions show a very positive view of this plan, with a large number of people in support of the direction we’re going in.
“This is exciting for our 10 year plan. We have set a good base going forward.”
Hearings at Council Chambers in Fitzherbert Street are open to the public 9am – 3pm Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 May and 9am – 10.30am Wednesday 20 May.
A meeting of Council takes place on Thursday 21 May at 9am to deliberate on submissions.