unconfirmed minutes                                                                       1                                          18 February 2020

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Eastbourne Community Board

 

Minutes of a meeting held in the East Harbour Women's Clubrooms, 145 Muritai Road, Eastbourne on

 Tuesday 18 February 2020 commencing at 7.15pm

 

 

PRESENT:

Ms V Horrocks (Chair)

Mr M Gibbons (Deputy Chair)

 

Ms B Moss

Mr B Spedding

 

Mr F Vickers

 

 

Deputy Mayor T Lewis

 

                                          

APOLOGIES:                  There were no apologies.

 

IN ATTENDANCE:        Mayor C Barry (part meeting)

                                           Ms J Miller, Chief Executive, (part meeting)

                                           Mr K Chitham, Head of Museums (part meeting)

                                           Mr D Burt, Sustainability and Resilience (part meeting)

                                           Mr G Sewell, Principal Policy Advisor (part meeting)

                                           Mr D Simmons, Traffic Asset Manager (part meeting)

                                           Ms T Malki, Traffic Engineer (part meeting)

                                           Mr A Marsh, Team Leader Parks (part meeting)

                                           Ms K Stannard, Head of Democratic Services

                                           Ms H Clegg, Minute Taker

 

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

There were no apologies.

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.

 

3.

Precedence of Business

 

Resolved: (Ms Horrocks/Deputy Mayor Lewis)                Minute No. ECB 20201

“That, in terms of Standing Order 10.4, precedence be accorded to item 15 dealing with the Williams Park Tennis Court Refurbishment.”

 

This item is recorded in the order in which it was listed on the order paper.

 

 

4.

Update from the Chief Executive, Hutt City Council (20/97)

The Chief Executive gave an overview of her seven months in office.  She explained her initial findings of a review of the organisation.  She added that it appeared that Council tries to solve problems rather than work alongside communities.  She advised the current organisation restructure of Council should be finalised by mid March 2020.

With regard to the Williams Park Tennis Court Refurbishment, the Chief Executive acknowledged that a thorough consultation process had not occurred.  She suggested officers assist in organising the parties to have a conversation to ensure all the information was presented.  She added she was in favour of ensuring access to public places was not complicated.  She further added that Sport Wellington’s assessment of tennis facilities in the region concluded there was an overabundance of such facilities.  She reminded members there was not enough money in the budget to help everyone.

The Chief Executive summarised the Draft Annual Plan 2020/21 and Long Term Plan Amendment item 5 a) on the order paper.  She explained the intention was to hold an honest conversation about the “state-of-the-nation” with the public.  She added that for the past 18 years the city had had the second lowest level of rates rises in the country and that the budget did not balance.  She highlighted the investment needed for the infrastructure.  She further added the proposed 7.9% rates rise would begin the process of achieving a balanced budget over time.  She concluded that the future brought opportunities for change especially in terms of Council assisting communities to achieve things in a better way.

With regard to nesting birds and shags, the Chief Executive advised she had requested a full review of the recent situation.  She acknowledged officers had made a mistake and she was endeavouring to ensure a similar situation did not occur in the future.  She committed to discussing the draft review report with the Board for its input prior to it being reported to Council.

With regard to the Eastern Bays Shared Pathway, the Chief Executive acknowledged the 200 submissions received by Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) for the resource consent application.  She explained that GWRC had recently halted proceedings to allow for full discussions to be conducted with all submissions in opposition.  She hoped that the concerns raised in those submissions could be resolved, enabling the whole consent process to proceed unopposed.   She advised that whilst the original costings for the project had been $14M, the recent costings were $25M, of which Council was required to contribute 51%.  She added that the process for estimating project costs was under review, and that for this project.  Council was continuing to lobby New Zealand Transport Authority to bring the project forward.  She acknowledged the project had been in the wings for a number of years.

Mayor Barry advised that officers were currently investigating the pedestrian crossing at Days Bay with full consultation.  He added that officers needed to assess the issues and costs and possible solutions.

 

 

 5.        Presentations

a)

Draft Annual Plan 2020/21 and Long Term Plan Amendment (20/94)

The Chief Executive spoke to this item under item 4 on the order paper.  She added that further information could be found on Council’s website.    

b)

Presentation by Local Councillor from Greater Wellington Regional Council (20/56)

Cr Prue Lamason was an apology for the meeting.

c)

Update: Council's Museums Division (19/1336)

Mr Karl Chitham, Council’s Head of Museums gave an overview of his area of responsibilities.  He added that Council’s Community Arts Advisor was currently meeting with all communities to assess their requests.  He stated that, generally, the arts across the city were relatively strong with many groups working well together.  He encouraged the Board and members of the public to make contact with him if they had any questions concerning the arts. 

6.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS  

The Chair declared a conflict stating that she owned a property adjacent to the Williams Park tennis courts.  Members noted that the issue was a broad one and considered that she could continue to chair and participate in discussion and voting on the Williams Park Tennis Court Refurbishment item.

7.       Minutes

Resolved: (Ms Horrocks/Mr Gibbons)                                Minute No. ECB 20202

“That the minutes of the meeting of the Eastbourne Community Board held on Tuesday, 19 November 2019, be confirmed as a true and correct record.”

8.       Reports referred for Board input before being considered by COMMITTEE/Subcommittee of Council

a)

Unlicensed Public Use of Council Land - Encroachments (20/48)

Memorandum dated 29 January 2020 by the Principal Policy Advisor.

The Principal Policy Advisor elaborated on the memorandum.  With regard to the 90cm footpath encroachment, the Principal Policy Advisor advised there were no changes proposed.

In response to a question from a member, the Principal Policy Advisor confirmed the 90cm was a blanket allowance but that footpaths needed to remain accessible for all.  He advised that officers took the width of the existing footpath into account when granting such encroachments.  The Traffic Asset Manager advised the minimum accessible width of a footpath was 1.5m.

In response to a question from a member, the Principal Policy Advisor confirmed planting encroachments under 10m2 were exempt.

In response to questions from  members, the Principal Policy Advisor advised that currently there was a notice on Council’s website reminding owners to remove or trim back overhanging vegetation.  He acknowledged there may be instances where existing vegetation overhang resulted in less than 1.5m of footpath being available.  He highlighted that sandwich boards were covered by the Public Places Bylaw and were not subject to the Encroachment Licence Policy.

Deputy Mayor Lewis commented that the Petone Community Board had requested more time to consult with Petone retailers regarding this matter.

 

Resolved: (Ms Horrocks/Mr Vickers)                       Minute No. ECB 20203

“That the Board:

(i)    considers the attached draft report “Unlicensed Public Use of Council Land – Encroachments”; and

(ii)   provides comments and feedback that will be forwarded to Council’s Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee meeting to be held on 3 March 2020.”

 

 

b)

Cheviot Road - Proposed No Stopping At All Times Restrictions (20/55)

Report No. ECB2020/2/30 by the Traffic Engineer.

 

 

 

The Traffic Engineer elaborated on the report.

In response to a question from a member, the Traffic Engineer advised there had not been any reported accidents in the area.  Ms Moss added that useful consultation had occurred and there was clearly an issue in traffic safety posed by the situation.  She believed that the solution was sensible.

 

 

 

Resolved: (Ms Horrocks/Mr Spedding)                    Minute No. ECB 20204

“That the Board endorses the recommendations contained in the report.”

For the reasons the proposed restrictions would improve the safety within the street for the benefit of all road users; would promote compliance with the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004; support Council’s Parking Policy 2017; and are supported by majority of the local residents who responded to the consultation documents.”

 

9.

Chair's Report (20/50)

Report No. ECB2020/2/20 by the Chair

 

The Chair elaborated on the report.

Mr Vickers advised that in relation to the sand issue at Kauri Street, a recent public meeting had been attended by 25 people and board members.  He further advised that officers had agreed to investigate the matter as it was an environmental, aesthetic and safety issue.  He added that most people agreed with returning the unpolluted sand to the beach and with continued dune planting.  He further added plants were to be supplied by Council.

Mr Gibbons commented that the issue had been ongoing for many years.

 

Resolved: (Ms Horrocks/Ms Moss)                                     Minute No. ECB 20205

“That the report be noted and received.”

 

10.

Committee Advisor's Report (20/39)

Report No. ECB2020/2/31 by the Head of Democratic Services

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Benjamin Priest, Electric Vehicle Product Manager at Meridian Energy, updated members on his investigations into the installation of two charging stations for electric vehicles.  He advised the preferred locations were at Williams Park, Days Bay (two chargers) and another site close to the Eastbourne shopping area.  He added that the Board would be kept updated on progress.

 

Mr Gibbons commented that as the instigator of the discussions with Meridian Energy, he was pleased to see progress with the proposal.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Owen Symmans requested the location of the proposed electric vehicle charging station inside Williams Park be re-investigated.  He noted that the carpark area was heavily used and congested and that to restrict parking in the area would cause more traffic issues.

 

In response to a question from a member, the Head of Democratic Services advised the invoices for the use of the meeting venue had not been received. 

 

Resolved: (Ms Horrocks/Mr Gibbons)                                Minute No. ECB 20206

“That the Board notes and receives the report.”

10.

UPDATE ON PLANNED COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WORK REGARDING CLIMATE CHANGE (20/81)

Report No. ECB2020/2/32 by the Manager, Sustainability and Resilience

 

The Manager, Sustainability and Resilience elaborated on the repor.

 

Resolved: (Ms Horrocks/Deputy Mayor Lewis)                Minute No. ECB 20207

“That the Board receives and notes the contents of the report.”

 

11.

Community Engagement Fund 2019-2020 (20/2)

Memorandum dated 6 January 2020 by the Community Advisor - Funding and Community Contracts

 

Resolved: (Ms Horrocks/Mr Gibbons)                                Minute No. ECB 20208

“That the Board:

(i)    notes that the Community Engagement Fund closed on 14 November 2019 and one application had been received;

(ii)   agrees retrospectively that the application was considered according to the merits of the application criteria and priorities of the fund;

(iii)  agrees retrospectively to Lowry Bay Residents Association being granted $1,188.00 towards the purchase of heavy duty shelving to be installed with their new civil defence container; and

(iv)  agrees that $1,178.00 is available for a second round in 2020, with decisions to be made at its June 2020 meeting.”

12.

Appointments to Local Organisations (20/54)

Memorandum dated 29 January 2020 by the Head of Democratic Services

 

Resolved: (Ms Horrocks/Mr Spedding)                             Minute No. ECB 20209

“That the Board:

(i)      notes that appointments from the Board are required to be made on local organisations for the 2019/2022 triennium; and

(ii)     appoints members/trustee of the Board on the following local organisations:

a.    Okiwi Trust (Chair);

b.    Educating Residents Around Trapping Steering Group (Mr Vickers);

c.     Days Bay Wharf Steering Group (Ms Horrocks)

d.    Eastbourne Youth Workers’ Trust (Mr Spedding);

e.     Eastbourne and Bays Community Trust (Mr Gibbons and Mr D Wilshere); and

f.     Community Emergency Response Group (Ms Horrocks and Mr Spedding).”

 

13.

Schedule of Meetings for 2020 (20/40)

Report No. ECB2020/2/23 by the Committee Advisor

 

Resolved: (Ms Horrocks/Deputy Mayor Lewis)                Minute No. ECB 20210

“That the Board:

(i)    approves the meeting dates for 2020 in respect of its own meetings, attached as Appendix 2 to the report;

(ii)   notes that the Chair will set the dates for informal get-togethers of the Board as the need arises; and

(iii)  delegates authority to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Board Chair to alter the date, time or venue of a meeting, or cancel a meeting, should circumstances require this.”

14.     QUESTIONS   

There were no questions.

15.

WILLIAMS PARK TENNIS COURT REFURBISHMENT (20/120)

Memorandum dated 10 February 2020 by the Team Leader Parks

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Diane Cheyne, Chair of the Days Bay Residents Association (‘the Association’),  expressed the Association’s concerns with the proposed Williams Park Tennis Courts refurbishment.  She stated the Association did not believe true consultation had occurred.  She highlighted that the early February meeting between themselves, Council officers and Wellesley College representatives had an underlying principle that the proposal was already approved.  She expressed other concerns with the logistics of reinstalling tennis equipment after school hours and how the public could use all the courts including the proposed booking system.  She added residents were concerned that if electricity was connected, flood lights could be installed.  With regard to the resurfacing, she questioned the need for the full resurfacing proposal and the allocation of costs.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Blake Fieldes expressed strong concern with the Williams Park Tennis Courts refurbishment.  He explained the proposal would be to the detriment of public access to the courts.  He questioned the logistics of the booking system, curtain wall netting, replacement of nets, need for resurfacing and future liability costs for Council.  He requested that the status quo be retained.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Amelia Manson representing Mr David Reid expressed concern with the lack of meaningful consultation.  She also expressed concern with the lack of investigation of the status quo, the need for private use of public courts for multiple sports codes, durability and logistics of the net curtain wall and the need for resurfacing.  She requested the situation be revisited in a transparent way.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Hamish Morison representing Mr Graham Thompson explained the historic journey of the original 18 courts (12 grass and six asphalt), to the four grass and three asphalt courts in existence today.  He asked that careful consideration be given to the alienation of the courts for the public and that the private use of courts not be permitted.  He highlighted Council’s neglect of the area over time. 

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Warren Owen, past Principal of Wellesley College, expressed the difficult position he found himself in.  He advised he was responsible for setting up the original lease arrangement of three courts for Wellesley College which he acknowledged, overtime, became known as the “College courts”.  He added that Wellesley College had regularly maintained those three courts which he stated had always remained for public use outside of school hours.  He was shocked to find out about the current proposal as he believed no public consultation had occurred.  He expressed concern with the proposed resurfacing and the curtain net wall and asked that a “win-win” solution be found for the benefit of all.  He acknowledged Wellesley College was investigating ways to increase its roll, but that privatising the courts was not acceptable. 

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Owen Symmans expressed concern with the proposed privatisation of the courts.  He acknowledged that the original intent of Wellesley College using the three courts only during public hours had changed to a public perception and that those courts were not for public use apart form through a costly booking system.  He stated all the courts were a public asset.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms Meshantha Thaver requested that the wider public view be sought concerning the Williams Park Tennis Courts.  She stated that the proposal seemed to add value to a specific group at a cost to others.  It catered specifically to the needs of Wellesley College and did not consider the wider public.  She requested more thorough consultation occur before a final decision was made.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Rob Ashe explained he used to travel from Hutt City to Days Bay specifically to play tennis.  He was disappointed when three of the public courts were lost to Wellesley College.  He highlighted the loss of several other courts within the city and requested all the Williams Park tennis courts be retained for public use.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Thomas Brooks spoke of his frequent spontaneous use of the tennis courts.  He questioned how a booking system would operate.  He requested all the courts be retained for public use.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Matt Hayes agreed with the proposed refurbishment of the tennis courts for a multiple of sports codes.  He expressed concern at the lack of public consultation to date.  He opposed having only three courts available for public use  and requested six courts be available for the public outside of school hours (three during school hours).  He asked that the needs of the community be considered.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Peter Dowell, current Wellesley College Board of Trustees, explained the court surfaces were nearing their “use-by” date.  He advised that all six courts were currently available for public use with Wellesley College able to book the three courts adjacent to their campus during school hours.  He further advised the proposal included a renewal of the 21 year lease to Wellesley College for the continued use of those three courts.  He added that Wellesley College would contribute 80% of the cost of resurfacing the three public courts adjacent to the campus.  He noted that the existing booking system, which was very infrequently used, would continue. 

 

The Team Leader Parks elaborated on the memorandum.  He acknowledged the public consultation undertaken could have been better and that engagement with the public should have occurred sooner.  He clarified that the public was currently not excluded from any of the courts.  He added that the proposal included Wellesley College being able to book all six courts during school hours (for a fee) with the proviso that at least one court was always available for public use during school hours.  He added Wellesley College would be responsible for reinstallation of all nets and the divider after Wellesley College’s use of the courts had finished.  With regard to similar agreements for other public courts/turfs/surfaces, he advised the proposal for Williams Park tennis courts was similar to other arrangements throughout the city. With regard to the booking system, he explained the system was not proposed to be altered from the current situation which appeared to be used only by large groups wishing to use the courts eg. other schools.  He concluded that Wellesley College was proposing to pay 80% of the cost of upgrading a public facility.

 

In response to a question from a member, the Team Leader Parks confirmed Wellesley College would be charged a pro-rata fee for the hourly use of the courts they booked during school hours.  He also confirmed this was in line with rates charged and the systems used for other public sports grounds eg rugby training and game times.  He highlighted that no electricity was proposed around the courts and that no lighting was proposed resulting in no night use of the courts being possible.  With regard to the management of the courts, he confirmed Council would manage the courts.  He considered it was preferable to provide a surface which allowed for as many activities as possible.  He added there were several public tennis courts available in the wider Eastbourne area, as well as the Tennis Club facilities.

 

In response to questions from members, the Team Leader Parks confirmed the courts would not be locked and that clear signage explaining the use of the courts would be installed.  He advised that had Wellesley College not approached Council, only the perimeter nets would have been replaced and remarking of the existing surfaces would have occurred.

 

In response to a question from a member, the Team Leader Parks advised an artificial turf court surface generally lasted approximately 12-15 years whilst an asphalt surface had a life of 20 years.  He added the type of use also influenced the life of a surface, and that the proposed turf surface was more suited to tennis than other sports, but that other sports could be played upon it.

 

In response to a request from a member for clarification regarding the booking system, the Team Leader Parks reiterated that the system was not altering from the one currently in existence, and acknowledged the concerns of the community regarding this issue.

The Chief Executive advised that conversations regarding the lease between Council and Wellesley College were ongoing and had yet to be finalised.   She suggested all interested parties should meet to air all concerns as soon as possible.

 

Resolved: (Deputy Mayor Lewis/Ms Moss)                       Minute No. ECB 20211

 “That the Board asks officers to urgently facilitate a conversation between the appropriate representatives of Wellesley College, Hutt City Council, Days Bay Residents Association and Eastbourne Community Board before matters are finalised on the proposed refurbishment of the asphalt tennis courts at Williams Park.”

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 9.21 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

V Horrocks

CHAIR

 

 

 

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 23rd day of June 2020