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Council energies focus on long-term plan

GISBORNE District Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann has said the new year cour the council is all about getting back to basics while still making people proud. Ms Thatcher Swann made the comments in an extensive activity report for tomorrow’s council meeting.

“All our energies are focused on preparing a draft long-term plan, with formal community consultation front of mind,” the report says.

“Through consultation the community will need to make decisions on critical infrastructure, which needs to be aligned with what we can afford.

“The key next steps in the long-term plan programme will see the adoption of a consultation document in March.”

Communications staff are in the process of developing that document, based on the approved strategies and budgets the council has resolved in the past couple of months.

The document will tell the story of the challenges that have been identified in line with the feedback received from the community, identifying the options made by the council, the cost of those options and how they might be funded.

The aim is to have a consultation document that will be clear, concise and engaging, while also satisfying the requirements of the Local Government Act.

After the consultation document is adopted, the next steps are:

formal consultation will close in April,the hearings and deliberations with the council will be held in Maythe 10-year 2018-28 long-term plan will be adopted in June.The council plans to consult on other projects, including the proposal to change the name Poverty Bay to Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay.

The community has also been given the opportunity to share views on an Easter Sunday shop trading policy. Both these matters will be put to the council in March.

The council’s major projects are moving ahead.

The report says the council is grateful for a $1.28m investment from the Government to support tourism projects, the majority of which is being applied to the construction of carparks and walkways in the inner harbour and on Titirangi (Kaiti Hill).

The report says that Pauline Foreman, who has been acting chief financial officer for the past six months, has accepted the offer to step into the role permanently.

James Baty joined the council in January as director of internal partnerships.