Coun­cil­lor de­fends his patch

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MARY-JO TOHILL

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

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