Cr Russell Ellis: Hearings highlight our common goals

Published: 16 May 2024

A large part of our week has been spent in Hine Paaka, the Council chamber, listening to nearly 100 people talking to their submissions on the draft Long Term Plan.

It is interesting and informative, and at times challenging, but it is clear there are many passionate people living in the Ashburton District and who want it to progress.

We are all on the same page about that and we share many common goals – it will be our job to balance essential work, like water, rubbish and roads, with making sure our district is an attractive place to live.

We want all those people seeking new lives in rural Canterbury to put the Ashburton District at the top of their list for affordability and amenities.

Each day of submissions brings a variety of topics, most about the five key decisions that we consulted on: A future greenwaste service, the future of Balmoral Hall, the Tinwald pool and other water-based leisure facilities, the future of stockwater and expanding the stadium space at EA Networks Centre.

Submitters share their bright ideas, their life experiences, their complaints and their hopes for the future – for that is what long term planning is all about.

There are about 3000 pages of submissions and documents that Councillors will have read by the end of this week, and that is hours and hours of reading.

Our deliberations begin next Monday, 20 May, and after four days of some robust debate we will have a more final version of the Long Term Plan and it will be adopted at the end of June.

Thank you to all those who submitted and engaged at our many gatherings, whether you expressed an opinion or stopped for a sausage at our barbecue.

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