The City Vision Blog,
10th August 2010 at 00:00
The Avondale pool project was axed early in the electoral term. The NZ Herald reported (here) that Citizens and Ratepayers Avondale Community Board members abstained from voting for pool funding and exposed their lack of support for community facilities.
The mobile library service was the next in line for the C&R axe. Elderly borrowers disadvantaged by the proposed service cut could not be so easily shoved aside. Former mobile library assistant, Catherine organised a petition to save the mobile library service. Backed by City Vision Councillors, the Community Services Committee endorsed increased annual plan funding to keep the mobile library on the road. This happened on the International Day of the Older Person. (Read more here People Power Saves Mobile Library)
Further funding cuts affected the Avondale, Blockhouse Bay and Mt Roskill libraries. Deferred upgrades to these sites left residents without the expanded library services they need and expect.
The environmental group, Friends of the Whau continued to receive an annual grant from the Avondale Community Board. As their spokesperson Catherine ensured funding in a climate of fiscal restraint.
The Friends of Oakley Creek replant and oversee the native flora regeneration in the Oakley creek. This work is supported by both the both the Eden-Albert and Avondale Community Boards.
Heron Park is valued as an open space area for informal recreation like walking and enjoying the natural landscape. The Auckland City Council Future Planning Framework proposal to put a road through Heron Park met with an outcry from local residents. As Heron Park Advisory Group Chair, Catherine liaised with them and they presented a petition opposing the road and requesting a children's playground in the park.
The board supported this and the road plan was deleted. A new Heron Park playground will be built later this year funded by the small local improvement fund.
When the New Zealand Flying Disc Association applied to the board for a temporary licence to occupy Heron Park with a disc golf course Waterview residents fought back. They had gained the open space zoning through an appeal to the Environment Court. Open space zoning does not allow for organised sport. The board supported the out-of-town disc golfers and ignored a petition with over 400 signatures calling for the park to remain as open space; however the temporary licence to occupy Heron Park sought by the disc golfers has yet to be issued.
Heron Park caters for the both on leash and off leash dog exercise areas. This shared space arrangement caters for both dog owners and non dog owners alike. Catherine opposed a move to allow the entire park to be off leash for dogs.
The Banks-led council delivered severe funding cuts to the poorer side of the isthmus. In Avondale an essential roading upgrade was deferred until 2020. SH20 opened at Maioro St in May last year and since then traffic has flooded onto suburban streets. A planned upgrade of Tiverton Rd intersection and the widening of Wolverton St was quickly canned. leaving people exposed to the safety risk of motorway traffic on local streets.
Catherine highlighted this issue in a Central Leader news article.
All community board tree spokespersons lost the right post-election 2007 to intervene in saving trees in the resource consent process. Four rewa rewa trees were cut down by council, unnecessarily in the view of environmentalists. Although the trees were lost, Catherine organised an article in The Aucklander to highlight the natural amenity loss to our community.
The Oak and Pohutukawa trees under threat at 317-321 Rosebank Rd continue to concern those who would like to see them protected. Working alongside The Tree Council, Avondale Community Gardeners and Rosebank resident Nina Patel, Catherine helped gather over 1100 signatures on a petition calling on Auckland City Council to schedule the trees.
The SH20 Waterview connection will cause loss of housing and open space in the surrounding area. Alongside community advocates Catherine made submissions to the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Auckland City Council Transport Committee. We continue to lobby for quality open space replacement for our area.
A popular local shopper's bus service connecting pensioner villages to New Lynn shops and railway stations came under review by the Auckland Regional Transport Agency last year. Cost cutting was the rationale for a proposal to discontinue this service. With Scott Winton, from David Shearer's office, Catherine door knocked the pensioner villages and gauged support for a meeting to oppose the service cut. Eventually the local papers reported that the bus service would continue.
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