There was an excellent turnout for this meeting with 19 members (excluding the three inner-city councillors) present. Earthquake strengthening issues were top of mind for many attendees and Iona Pannett briefly outlined the initiatives that were being proposed for the Long Term Plan (LTP) – provision of advisory and information services, investigating funding options. (These are covered in detail in WCC’s Strategy & Policy Committee paper discussed on 23 Feb) . A separate meeting will be organised outside of the ICA monthly meetings to allow a fuller discussion. An email will be sent to members when this meeting is scheduled.
Other topics raised as being critical to the immediate and long-term were:
- funding has to be focused on maintaining the basic services well (rubbish, cleaning, safety) rather than spreading limited funds across multiple new projects
- safety was considered more important than heritage by some members – and others wanted a pragmatic approach to preserving the character while minimising the costs of strengthening for building owners (and potentially all ratepayers)
- increasing the focus on anti-social behaviour to ensure that the inner-city remained a place people wanted to be live in, own a business in, work in and visit
- a well-maintained inner city will attract businesses and support tourism initiatives
Councillors advised that a review of Walkwise will be initiated in the near future. Councillors were reminded that ICA members had indicated a willingness to help with monitoring security cameras as is done in Hutt City and New Plymouth. This offer has yet to be taken up.