Community groups to set pace for next 10 years

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Mayor Ross Paterson.
Mayor Ross Paterson.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council is reviewing its 10-year programme of projects and is seeking input to the decision making process.

The council's long term plan for 2015-2025 outlined the major projects the council would like to do over the next 10 years such as upgrading sports grounds and water supply, maintaining roads and ensuring community facilities such as libraries were well supported.

All councils were required to set a 10-year plan and review it every three years. The plan also provided information on the budget for each project.

Western Bay Mayor Ross Paterson said important decisions must be made on the priority of work and suggestions and guidance from groups within the community was very important.

"Some issues we have identified are economic growth projections and developing a strategy to ensure our District is vibrant and prosperous. We must also consider how demographic changes such as our ageing population will impact our services," Mr Paterson said.

"We also need to continue providing high quality infrastructure such as stormwater systems and roads and do our utmost to keep costs to ratepayers affordable."

The council gained important feedback from residents about what was special and what they valued about the district during the recent 'Portraits of our Place' community road show.

However the council wanted to broaden the input to include community organisations and other groups that were active in the Western Bay.

"Residents told us that the top priorities were being able to afford to live in the Western Bay; local employment opportunities; looking after the environment; having places to socialise and ensuring our District is sustainable for their children's future," he said.

"We're interested in hearing the views of organisations and groups as to whether they agree these are important areas for Council to focus on.

"We'd like to hear views about the things that matter to the community, the challenges they expect to face over the next few years and what we should prioritise in the Long Term Plan."

Council invites people to have to have their say from Monday, September 15 by joining the online survey and forum at http://haveyoursay.westernbay.govt./nz

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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