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Council To Continue Support Of Mainstreet Program

Council To Continue Support Of Mainstreet Programme

Auckland city’s Strategy and Governance committee has recommended that the council continue its direct financial contribution to the Mainstreet programmes.

Committee chairperson, Councillor Mark Donnelly says Mainstreet is a valued project, producing worthwhile benefits for businesses operating in the 15 Mainstreet areas, and also for the wider communities serviced by those areas. He said that a recent round of consultation with the Mainstreet groups had been constructive, highlighting opportunities to reduce costs and to make the programme more effective.

Mainstreet programmes are a partnership between the council, the business communities, and the wider community, around defined “mainstreet” areas. There are currently 15 programmes of varying size and complexity, operating in Avondale, Blockhouse Bay, Eden Valley, Ellerslie, Glenn Innes, Heart of the City (CBD), Karangahape Road, Mt Eden Village, Newmarket, Onehunga, Otahuhu, Panmure, Parnell, Remuera, and St Heliers.

The programmes are funded mainly through rates from within the defined areas, and provide a focal point for efforts to enhance and develop these traditional neighbourhood shopping centres. Basic objectives are to enhance physical environments, promote business creation and development, increased employment, and local business investment. Community development and heritage conservation are also objectives.

A steering group consisting of Mainstreet representatives, council officers and Councillor Donnelly, is to be set up and will work closely to review the current structure and operation of the Mainstreet programme.
The committee recommended a reduction in the Mainstreet budget of $50,000. Councillor Donnelly says he expects that this collaborative review process will identify efficiency gains and improvements to the current arrangements, making the lower target attainable.

An earlier proposal that council recover the cost of its annual contribution from Mainstreet business ratepayers is to be deferred for a year, giving the steering group a chance to complete its review of the current programmes. Councillor Donnelly says the committee recognises the importance of continuing to expand the Mainstreet programme, enabling other areas around the city to become involved.

The Combined Committees of council will consider the Strategy and Governance committee’s recommendations when it meets later this month.


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