April 13, 2010

Churton Park To Decide How $1.6million community facility funds should be invested

Cr Best has issued a media statement clarifying the position in relation to Churton Park community facilities. The statement can be found at: News - Churton Park Community Consultation Clarified. It did not make reference to the option of a multi-purpose community centre owned and operated by the Council. Apart from that, however, it did set out the position more clearly than previous Council utterances.

According to Cr Best "Last year we sold some reserve land for the new school in Churton Park and received $812,500 from that sale, and there is a proposal in the 2010/11 draft Annual Plan to use those funds for indoor or outdoor recreation and/or community facilities," Cr Best says. 

"Over the past 12 months we have been developing a city-wide Community Facilities Policy, which is currently in draft form and out for consultation, within it we have an additional sum of $845,000 to develop community space in Churton Park in 2012/13.  So to clarify, we are consulting on spending $845,000 in Churton Park for community facilities and an additional $812,500 for community and/or recreation facilities for Churton Park which may be used for additional facilities at the new school, additional community space or further develop the existing parks and reserves." says Cr Best. 

However, Cr Best did not indicate anything about the history of the land or the development contributions that were given to the council in the form of the land. Those contributions are usually used for facilities for the whole community.

Recently the Council invested almost $3million of ratepayers money into the state of the art Newlands Community Centre - pictured above.  Churton Park, say Council officials, does not have the population to justify getting $3million.  Having said that $1.6million + some additional fundraising could get a modest Community Centre for Churton Park - if that was the wish of residents. Of course that will not be possible if the funding is divided into two or three lots. And that is the decision residents must make.

The Churton Park community now has an opportunity to have its say through the consultation process which includes a public meeting - but not one in Churton Park.  The meeting will be held at the Johnsonville Library on 21 April at 7.00pm and community members can also have their say by making a submission on the draft Community Facilities Policy and Implementation Plan or through the draft Annual Plan.  More information can be found at www.wcc.govt.nz

If residents choose not to have their say then they should not complain later if they miss out on the sort of facilities they would like to see for the next 20-30 years in the community. 

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