Whitby takes big­gest slice of vil­lage plan­ning cake

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By CATHER­INE GAF­FANEY

Whitby has been given the lion’s share of Porirua City Coun­cil’s pro­posed 2014-15 vil­lage plan­ning budget, with more than a quar­ter of the $477,000 budget ear­marked to go its way.

Last year Whitby re­ceived the sec­ond small­est al­lo­ca­tion of funds – $12,000 – but this was sub­se­quently in­creased to $27,000 af­ter the res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion raised con­cerns.

How­ever, this year most vil­lages, with the ex­cep­tion of Ti­tahi Bay, said they were happy with the grants.

Whitby Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Ge­off Mow­day said it was the first year Whitby had had a big slice of the pie.

‘‘We’ve been talk­ing to the coun­cil about what we want to do for two years and this year we were suc­cess­ful,’’ he said. ‘‘You could say it’s our turn.’’

In the 2014-15 fi­nan­cial year, Whitby is pro­jected to re­ceive $137,000 for im­prove­ments. These in­clude adding car park­ing to the vil­lage cen­tre, com­plet­ing light­ing on the walk­way around the lower lake and safer pedes­trian ac­cess be­tween the vil­lage cen­tre and Ad­ven­ture Park.

The other 11 vil­lages in Porirua will share the re­main­ing funds.

‘‘I think we got a gen­er­ous al­lo­ca­tion [this year] be­cause we put in for big projects,’’ Mow­day said.

‘‘We don’t ex­pect that sort of money ev­ery year.’’

Porirua City Coun­cil vil­lage plan­ning man­ager Ian Bar­low agreed Whitby had been given a large por­tion of the funds be­cause its projects were ex­pen­sive.

‘‘There’s no use say­ing we will di­vide the amount by 12 and give each vil­lage an even share, be­cause no big projects would ever get done,’’ he said.

‘‘Vil­lages go in cy­cles. They’ll get a big por­tion one year and then less the next two to three years.’’

In re­sponse to crit­i­cism of the scheme last year, Porirua mayor Nick Leggett promised to form a vil­lage plan­ning sub­com­mit­tee if re-elected.

The sub­com­mit­tee was formed in Novem­ber and vil­lages were asked to sub­mit their plans then, five months ear­lier than nor­mal.

Bar­low said that as a re­sult coun­cil­lors had a closer re­la­tion­ship with vil­lages and more time to de­cide the budget.

‘‘The coun­cil­lors them­selves are much more in­volved in plan­ning, so they are more sen­si­tive to what com­mu­ni­ties want,’’ he said.

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