Submissions close on the Council’s Three Year Plan tomorrow. They’ve made it as easy as they can to submit – you can go to this site here and fill in a form. I’ve done mine, and I’ve put my submissions below. Not because I want you to copy them, but because they are what I believe the key issues for the Council – and it’s relationship with the Government  – are.

Cycling

I am an avid commuting cyclist, I don’t own a car, I bike almost everywhere. However, I think the “cycling tax” is a really poor idea. Providing for cycling infrastructure should be one of the council’s core functions, not dependent on further levying the population.

Stadium

The plans for the covered stadium should be shelved, and the council should be committing no money to it in the short term. The new stadium at Addington will last for many years, and is barely even filling up. The people of Christchurch do not need the white elephant of a stadium without an economic plan.

Hagley Oval

The Council should continue to oppose this development as strongly as possible. Canterbury Cricket have provided no economic plan for how they are going to fund this project, how many events it will have, who will ultimately own it. The Council should not be giving a private organisation large tracts of land just because they can wheel out sporting celebrities. They need to answer some pretty fundamental questions about how they see this working, and then be upfront with the people of Christchurch about it.

Social Housing

The council’s social housing position has been very strong for generations, and now, when Cantabrians need it most, should be reinforced. Social housing should be a top priority for capital projects; it helps out people in need, it has much more reliable returns than sports stadia, and it encourages community. The council could also use a social housing building programme to actively shape population patterns in the new city, to increase density in key areas, to encourage sustainable living. 

Heritage

Council should be trying to maintain any heritage buildings that still remain. This includes modern heritage, such as the world-class Town Hall. The Town Hall is a fantastic building, but it also means so much to generations of Cantabrians. I sung there in choir; I stood on stage as my Cantamath team won a prize; I went to my first big gig there, and later got to perform on stage. It is a unique space with irreplaceable memories, and if restored will be the venue for countless more. 

Council Assets

The public has been very clear about making an effort to retain key council assets, and I applaud the council for responding. I know money will be tight, but please stay strong, so the benefits of owning these companies is returned to all, not the few.

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