Councillor defends his patch
Clutha District councillor Bruce Vollweiler is defending the residents of Milton, following suggestions they haven’t taken ownership and initiated community-led projects.
The issue was raised at a Clutha District Council meeting at Balclutha last Thursday, when the council was discussing the next stage of its Our Place Milton community plan, and identifying key projects.
Clinton ward member John Cochrane said it appeared to him that the Milton community was taking its ‘‘hands off’’ and was going to let the council ‘‘do it all for them’’.
However, Bruce ward member Vollweiler said the communityowned historic Coronation Hall, its refurbishment and ongoing use, illustrated that Milton people ’’had already done it’’, in terms of projects.
He suggested Milton was also ahead of Balclutha’s Naish Park, identified in the Balclutha community plan, in the development of Moore Park as a community recreational facility.
Cr Bruce Graham said Cochrane was being ‘‘overly harsh’’. Cochrane said he was not saying that projects hadn’t been done in Milton, but compared to other communities, ‘‘it’s behind’’. He made reference to the councilowned leak-prone Milton pool, which is hovering between repair ($150,000), upgrade ($2 million) or replacement ($2.5m to $3m). Other communities, including Clinton and Lawrence, had taken the initiative and fund-raised their own pools, he said.
The pool had been identified as a council-led project after initial consultation, Vollweiler said.
‘‘The pool is functioning ... we need a new pool but not at the moment ... when we do, that’s when you ask the community if it wants it as a community-led project’.’’
This was confirmed by Clutha District Council senior policy advisor Larissa Brown, who said the pool had received the lowest ranking for having potential as a community-led project.
As a result of discussion, the council approved the next steps and scope of the following projects:
· Development in and around Milton
· Walking and cycling · Community/visitor facilities · Parks and reserves, including Greater Taylor Park, Moore Park and Fairfax Cemetery. for
Councillor Bruce Vollweiler