Youth Forum

It is always fantastic to see our young people having their say on the future of our district. After all, the decisions that are made today will affect them most of all

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending the Youth Forum at the Council Chambers. Nine schools from around the district took part in the event, delivering presentations and speeches about the revitalisation of the Ashburton Central Business District (CBD). It was a valuable opportunity for our young people to give their feedback on what they would like included in the CBD and have their ideas heard by the Council.

Recently, the Council has been consulting the community on proposed options for the future look of the CBD. This has included an open day for residents to talk with staff and councillors on the Town Centre Working Group. The key changes that are proposed focus on improving parking and the streetscape to help attract residents and businesses into the area.

My fellow Councillors and I have now heard presentations from Ashburton Intermediate, Ashburton College, and Netherby, Ashburton Borough, St Josephs, Mt Somers Springburn, Hampstead, Our Lady of the Snows, and Lauriston Schools. 

The ideas from the students have been very well considered and have featured a lot of great ideas including free Wi-Fi, street art such as locally produced murals and sculptures, and creating a more pedestrian friendly town centre. Comments have also reflected on ways to demonstrate the multiculturalism of the community; how to make the town centre more obvious; outdoor entertainment; and more activities for youth. I was personally very pleased to hear Our Lady of the Snows School talking about making our CBD a plastic bag free zone to help reduce litter and the negative effects of plastic bags on the environment. A lot of research went into each school’s presentation and I would like to offer my thanks and appreciation to the students.

Tomorrow is the last day of public consultation on the CBD revitalisation. I invite you all to head to the Council website to view the consultation document and share what you think.

Page reviewed: 16 Aug 2018 11:06am