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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.
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.
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.
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
www.adc.govt.nz to view the consultation document and share what you think.