Coun­cil ac­cused of sab­o­tag­ing town

South Waikato News - - Your Place, Your Paper - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Back­lash over the re­de­vel­op­ment of Leith Place con­tin­ues to raise ques­tions with busi­ness own­ers as the sub­mis­sions dead­line draws near.

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Hobbs de­fended his stance on want­ing to move Toko­roa into the fu­ture.

Ac­cus­ing mem­bers of the Toko­roa Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion of be­ing ‘‘petty’’, Hobbs said lo­cals needed to help change the town’s per­cep­tion.

‘‘We need to do some­thing to turn things around.’’

But man­ager of Noel Leem­ing John Ten Velde has ques­tioned the logic be­hind re­mov­ing car park­ing.

‘‘If you take away the park­ing spa­ces, busi­nesses like Noel Leem­ing and Pa­per Plus will dis­ap­pear all to­gether.

‘‘Peo­ple will start to travel to Ro­torua and you’ll take five, ten, twenty mil­lion dol­lars away each year in re­turn for what?’’

Ob­jec­tions con­tin­ued from Ti­rau busi­ness own­ers who said they knew how im­por­tant park­ing was for their cus­tomers.

A to­tal of 456 car parks are within the Swanston St, Man­ner­ing St, Rose­bery St, Bridge St and Leith Place bound­ary. With around 240 peo­ple on av­er­age stop­ping into Toko­roa a day Hobbs said sug­ges­tions to move the lo­ca­tion of the bus stop in Bon­aly St was un­likely. ‘‘They spend very, very lit­tle. We can’t con­trol where the bus stops.’’ Ac­cused of ‘‘sab­o­tag­ing the town’s fu­ture’’, he de­fended the im­por­tance of uni­fi­ca­tion to save Toko­roa from be­com­ing a ‘‘zom­bie town’’. Hobbs said the coun­cil was work­ing har­mo­niously with Pride in Pu­taruru and Ti­rau’s con­cept plans. ‘‘We want to work to­gether on this. Give us your ideas on pa­per, they will be con­sid­ered. ‘‘Now is the op­por­tu­nity. We’ve got money in the bank. ‘‘My fear is in twenty, thirty years time when our kids are grown up say ‘why you didn’t do any­thing?’.’’ Chair­man for the Toko­roa Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion Da­mon Jake­man said if they weren’t proac­tive now in seal­ing the town’s fu­ture they would miss out. Sub­mis­sions close on Fri­day April 15. In­for­ma­tion packs can be viewed on­line or at the I-site.

John Ten Velde

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.