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Stephen Franks On Crossways loss

Stephen Franks On Crossways loss

Loss of the Crossways Community Centre after its sale for $1.3m by the the Presbyterian Church is a setback for Mt Victoria, National Candidate for Wellington Central, Stephen Franks said today.

"I feel a personal sense of loss. It's always been there to remind me of the years when it was our normal Friday night "cafe". Our children raced around in happy rowdiness, while adults gossiped with neighbours they'd otherwise not meet.

" I'd hoped that the downturn in the property market would scare off competing bidders, to reward the dedication of the Crossways Community Trustees. They've put in an extraordinary effort to keep the centre.

"The loss of the centre brings into sharp focus the priorities for spending rates raised in areas where property values have rocketed. I argued with Councillors that "rich" areas need community centres at least as much as "poor" areas. Community centres are not welfare.

" I estimated that Mt Victoria generates around $1500 per household more than the average rates bill per similar sized household in other areas. In other words, many newer areas scarcely pay enough to cover their core service costs. Mt Vic ratepayers are giving them a subsidised ride. "If those estimates were correct it seemed to me that Mt Vic residents were reasonable in asking for investment of a fraction of one year's surplus from the $6m or so of rates from the area. That was not greedy.

" I'm glad the Crossways Trust sees this as a challenge, and not the end of their efforts to keep this kind of core to our suburb.

" Wadestown and Karori are also keen to see new Community Centres become buzzing hubs for their suburbs. From my family's experience I wholeheartedly support them.

"Having a glittering heart to the city, should not mean suburbs without hearts " , Stephen said.

ENDS


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