An updated concept design for the Milton Main Street upgrade was presented to Councillors at the Council Meeting on June 25.
Landscape Architect Brook Mitchell put forward the updated concept design at the Council meeting for Councillors consideration and feedback.
Councillors were supportive of the concepts; of the way they reflected the nature of Milton and its surrounds and would provide opportunities for people to enjoy the space.
Councillor Gaynor Finch said that she was excited by the designs and the benefit the revamped plaza would bring to Milton.
The next steps will include communicating with the Milton Community about the draft design, confirming costs of the project against the budget, and bringing a final design, project timeline and costs to the Council for approval.
Decision to sell land put on hold
Councillors made the decision to put the potential sale of a municipal reserve block of land in Lawrence on hold till the Our Place Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Plan is finalised.
In a report to Council, Council’s Chief Executive had been approached by someone interested in purchasing the land. However, before the land could be sold the land’s reserve status (‘Municipal Estate Purpose’) must be revoked.
Councillors were asked to consider the revoking but were in favour of putting it on hold as Lawrence was now in the middle stages of the Our Place Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Plan.
Feedback received already through the Our Place Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Plan was that it would make an ideal park, being a great location and handy to the Golf Course.
First Past the Post electoral system retained
Councillors decided to retain the First Past the Post (FPP) electoral system for the next election to be used for the 2022 elections.
Council completed a review of representation arrangements in 2018 and decided not to undertake one in 2021 noting that a review in 2021 was not legally required.
Council also decided to consult with Runanga before Council makes a decision about Maori representation.
Rates Distress policies approved
Council approved additions to its existing Policy on Rates Remission 2018 under the section Remission of Penalties, the Policy on Short Term Rates Deferral 2020 and the Policy on Rates Postponement 2020 and will be put in place before the new financial rating year (1 July 2020).
At a Council Meeting held on May 14, Council moved to progress Rates Distress and Business Support actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
While Council currently had existing policies on rates remissions and rates postponement, they could only be applied in specific circumstances, with the COVID-19 situation not being one of them.
To ensure expediency the Executive Committee was delegated as the working party to progress the policies. A plan for consultation and three draft policies were approved at this committee on 28 May 2020.
The three draft policies were open for public submissions from 6 June 2020 until 14 June 2020 however no submissions were received during the consultation period.
Council decided to proceed with the policies.
Reserve Management Plan approved
Council approved the Reserve Management Plan for The Catlins, however there were some amendments noted.
The Reserves Act 1977 governs the management and control of reserves in New Zealand and defines the purposes for which a reserve may be established. It also requires that a reserve’s administering body prepare Reserve Management Plans for reserves under its control.
Council previously determined that Reserve Management Plans should be created in parallel with the Our Place community consultation programme. Therefore, this Draft Plan has been prepared with consideration to submissions received during the Our Place Catlins consultation.
Most of the submissions received were operational matters or service requests, or suggestions for improvement projects. Submissions suggesting projects that have been previously identified and captured by the Catlins Our Place Community Plan had also been noted.
At the meeting Council agreed that an additional policy would be included in the plan to help improve accessibility in reserves for the disabled.
Council also decided to re-lease the Pounawea Recreation Reserve by public tender process.
Freedom Camping Policy under the spotlight
Council agreed to a proposed draft Freedom Camping Policy and stand-alone bylaw called the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2020 which will now go out for public consultation.
They also decided to delay making a decision on the long-term future of the Owaka Freedom Camping Site until the conclusion of the policy and bylaw review process.
Freedom camping has grown in significance as both a national and local issue since the passing of the Freedom Camping Act in 2011 and Council has been proactive in its efforts to manage freedom camping issues, through the use of advisory signs, education and the creation of a jointly funded responsible camping ranger position in The Catlins.
In response to concerns raised through Our Place Catlins consultation in 2019, Council trialled an alternative approach to managing freedom camping in the Catlins. This included the creation of a designated site for use by freedom campers in Owaka with eight vehicle spaces, and restrictions on freedom camping on Council controlled land elsewhere in The Catlins.
The trial resulted in more people staying overnight in Owaka, compared to the previous season and there was a decrease in the number of people not staying at formal camp sites this season, compared to last.
Council’s ability to manage freedom camping is governed by the Freedom Camping Act 2011 which has a generally permissive approach, and does not allow for a blanket ban on freedom camping within a district. The Act grants councils powers to regulate where freedom camping may occur, where it may not occur, and how long campers may stay for.
The proposed approach aims to strike a balance between the requirements of the Act, and community expectations that Council will more closely manage the impacts of freedom camping.
Funding approved for Kaitangata
Council approved $4,452.20 for Kaitangata and District Promotions to erect an information kiosk on the site of the Old Kaitangata Cemetery on Salcombe Street.
The kiosk will provide historical information of the district and the Kaitangata Old Cemetery, such as exists in other cemeteries in the district.
The Kaitangata cemetery is a site of historical interest, being the final resting place of the town’s pioneer forebears, and most of the miners killed in the mining disaster of 1879.
Although there are a few gravestones on the site alongside the memorial to those unfortunate miners, there is nothing to indicate that the site itself was the cemetery and that it spread over most of the area. Many people have come along to the museum in search of their family history and most of them had no idea that their ancestors were actually buried there.
The group has been working hard to attract visitors to Kaitangata and engage people with its history and its natural beauty. Having the cemetery recognised will be an important step in this journey.
Clutha Foundation funding approved
Clutha Foundation put in a late request for funding for operation costs.
The request was late due to the Executive Officer being new to the role, and lock down and COVID-19 complications which disrupted regular communication so the Annual Plan submission due date was not realised.
Council approved a funding request of $10,000 for operational costs for the 2020-21 year.
Climate change under the spotlight
Climate change was under the spotlight at Council’s meeting.
Council had commissioned a report that detailed the potential impact and implications of Climate Change to the Clutha District.
The report detailed that the Clutha District will face a range of new challenges and opportunities in a future and changing climate. Drawing on the best available data, this report summarises the impacts and implications of climate change for the Clutha District.
The report sourced knowledge through local consultation, historic rainfall and temperature records, and future climate and hydrological projections produced by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), to describe the local impacts of climate change.
The findings reveal that overall, the Clutha District will become warmer and wetter in the future, with more water likely flowing through the Clutha River.
These changes may bring opportunities, such as improved winter pasture growth; however, they may also bring challenges such as a potential increase in flood frequency and severity.
Understanding the nature of the changes that have occurred to date, and those that are predicted for the future, will allow the Clutha District to prepare for, and adapt to, the impacts of climate change
This information will be used to inform the development of the 2021-31 Long Term Plan and other key decisions. It will also be made available to the public via the Council’s website.
Thumbs up for Resident Satisfaction Survey
Content...Council’s Resident Satisfaction Survey results were tabled at the Council Meeting. The survey is conducted via phone and an online component was introduced last year to allow wider feedback and engagement with residents across the district.
The survey showed that: • 96% satisfied with district sewage systems • 79% satisfied with stormwater services • 85% satisfied with the reliability of the water supply • 69% satisfied with the taste and clarity of their water supply • 47% satisfied with the maintenance of unsealed roads • 77% satisfied with the maintenance of sealed roads • 64% satisfied with footpaths • 94% satisfied with the wheelie bin service • 96% satisfied with Mt Cooee landfill • 99% satisfied with libraries • 98% satisfied with service or information centres • 90% satisfied with community centres or community halls • 71% satisfied with public toilets • 95% satisfied with district parks and reserves • 89% satisfied with playgrounds • 95% satisfied with cemeteries • 97% satisfied with Balclutha Sportsground • 90% satisfied with Milton Sportsground • 92% satisfied with Balclutha Pool • 95% satisfied with Milton Pool • Elected Members and Council 80% satisfied with decision making, planning and leadership of elected members • 82% satisfied with Council’s goal to promote growth, and living and working in the Clutha District • 72% satisfied with being able to have a say in council decision-making and planning • 86% satisfied with the helpfulness and advice from Council staff • 78% satisfied with the overall performance of the Clutha District Council • 63% satisfied with value for money from rates • 82% gave the Council a positive reputation rating • 77% satisfied with Clutha District Council overall
The annual resident survey for 2019/20 was conducted during February 2020 and is undertaken yearly to gather feedback at a district-wide level about the majority of the services Council offers and how well residents think those services are being provided (either directly by Council or via its contractors).
It also helps gauge whether the projects, programmes or changes Council makes alter residents’ opinions about those services.
It provides annual accountability towards Annual Report performance targets and whether there are service issues or improvements that may require further investigation.
The results will help Council assess level of service updates currently being reviewed as part of the update of Activity Management Plans ahead of the Long Term Plan 2021. It is also an indicator of overall perception of performance and confirms known areas of underperformance this past year requiring intervention.