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Few changes were made to the Gisborne District Council’s draft Annual Plan as a result of consultation with residents in March. This does not mean Council is not responding to the issues raised according to community planning and development manager Nedine Thatcher-Swann.
“The nature of most of the issues bought up during consultation on Council’s draft Annual Plan for the 2010/2011 year meant they could be addressed as part of normal council business. They did not require a change to the draft plan.”
Community Update meetings were held in 21 locations in March. As a result of these meetings a large number of requests for service and issues that required a follow up from staff were generated. “These are all being actioned within the existing plan and its budgets. Few changes were made to the draft Annual Plan as a result of consultation. This does not mean Council is not responding to the issues raised.”
“Council’s approach to consulting on our 2010/2011 Annual Plan was to go beyond the need to meet our statutory obligation and take the opportunity to listen to our communities and update on what Council is doing for them,” said Mayor Meng Foon. “For some communities there is not a lot in the draft Annual Plan that they are directly interested in. However all our communities have issues that they want Council to pay attention to. The meetings were opportunities for communities to hold council accountable.”
“I attended all of the meetings and was joined by councillors and senior managers. We wanted to let communities know what was happening with the issues that had bought up previously, what progress was being made and where no progress had been made why not.”
“We had record numbers attending some of the meetings and very good feedback from communities about this approach. Attendance was up 30% on last year’s Ten Year Plan meetings. We felt it went really well. This is not to say that there is not room to improve. It highlighted the importance of feeding back directly to communities about the issues they have raised with us. Now the Annual Plan has been adopted we will be letting communities and individual submitters know what decisions have been made and what action Council is taking,” Mayor Foon added.
“Council wants to thank those that took the time to attend a meeting and who read our documents. Council is always interested in your feedback. For the 69 people who made submissions and the 21 submitters who spoke at the hearings you play an important role in our democratic process. The 160 issues raised have all been considered by staff and Councillors. The people who raised issues will get a personal response. Posters are going into communities responding to their issues.”
Some of the changes that council agreed to but did not require a plan change include reviewing pedestrian crossings in the city, installing new culverts under Mangatuna Road and sorting out parking issues in Ballance Street Village.