Community groups benefit from Long Term Plan
Friday 13 July 2018
Funding for security cameras at Waitārere Beach is just one of the ways community groups have benefited from Horowhenua District Council’s 2018-2038 Long Term Plan (LTP).
The LTP is primarily a strategic planning document, and community groups can use the submission process to highlight issues that are important to them, said Horowhenua District Council Strategic Planner Caitlin O’Shea.
“There were some very high quality submissions on the 2018-2038 LTP from community groups, which made it easy for elected members and Council officers to understand the priorities of these groups and the communities they represent. These submissions made valuable contributions to the development of the LTP,” she said.
One such submission came from the Waitārere Beach Progressive & Ratepayers Association.
Waitārere Beach Progressive and Ratepayers Association President Sharon Freebairn said engaging with Council through the LTP process enabled the Association to achieve key benefits for the Waitārere Beach community and develop ongoing relationships with Council officers.
“Council has committed up to $3,500 per year until the 2021-22 financial year to provide financial support in the operation of the security cameras at Waitarere Beach. The funding will help cover the costs of Wi-Fi video transmission to Levin Police, as well as software upgrades and maintenance of the security cameras. It is important for a small community which is minutes away from the nearest police station,” she said.
“In addition, Council officers are now working with Waitārere Beach residents to improve stormwater drainage, including extending stormwater outlets on the beach. This was one of our key concerns. We were also pleased that management of parks and foreshore reserves featured prominently in the LTP.”
Mrs Freebairn said the Association found involvement in the pre-engagement phase of the Long Term Plan, held between September and December 2017, particularly valuable.
During pre-engagement, Council sought community input to harness ideas and create a formal LTP Consultation Document that represented the perspectives and priorities of the community. As one of the mechanisms for gathering this input, Council officers met with community groups.
“Council Chief Executive David Clapperton and Council officer Nichole Mangione attended a meeting we held in September to help us develop a vision for the Waitārere Beach community. This vision became the basis of our submission on the LTP,” Mrs Freebairn said.
“Working with Council right from the beginning of the LTP process in this way meant our feedback could be built into the LTP and we had a good understanding of the information Council needed from us. As a result, we were able to put together an effective submission that communicated clearly to Council what was important to our community.”
Mrs Freebairn said remaining involved in the LTP process throughout hearings and deliberations was also useful, as it provided an insight into the factors Council considers in making decisions.
“We had a long list of requests and we understood that not all of them could be met, as Council needs to control rates increases district-wide. However, the rationale behind decisions was explained to us and we’ve developed ongoing relationships with key Council officers.”
Other community groups which benefited through making a submission to the LTP include:
· Horowhenua Kāpiti Cricket Association, which secured a Council investment of $267,000 over a four-year period to upgrade facilities at Donnelly Park, Levin.
· Levin Crime Prevention Camera Trust, which received $5,000 per year for the first three years of the LTP to support delivery of services.
· Levin Community Patrol, which received $5,000 per year for the first three years of the LTP to support delivery of services.
· Playford Park Users Group, which received $335,000 to install additional changing rooms and toilet facilities, improve drainage on playing fields, and install additional lighting for a new training area.