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Source: Auckland Council

Franklin Local Board has approved its Customer and Community Services work programme and its associated budgets.

The programme is the most complex of the board’s different work programmes, dealing with a wide range of services and departments.

Board chair Angela Fulljames says the programme’s activities align to 2020 Local Board Plan outcomes that include generating local opportunities, improving transport options, protecting the environment, and enhancing community participation.

The work programme will be good news for friends of the historic McNicol Homestead at Clevedon, with $50,000 allocated for refurbishments.

Other additions to the programme include $40,000 for work to continue the Franklin Paths Programme, almost $60,000 for crime prevention and safety initiatives, and $250,000 to renew various sports field assets, with another $25,000 to renew the Puni bike track.

The water feature in Pukekohe’s town square will get a new lease on life with $10,000 allocated for renewal, while there’s also budget that will see a gifted artwork by celebrated artist Fred Graham installed in Waiuku.

“People are aware that budgets have been hit, that Council faces challenges, and that there is less to go around, factors that make it important we maintain good oversight over what is being spent and where,” Fulljames says.

“Our programmes are influenced heavily be public submissions during consultations. Wide public support is a factor in allocating funding, which is why it’s critical people speak up.

“One of the things we are grappling with now, as our draft Local Board Plan for the next three years is open for consultation, is the number of facilities we have and their varying conditions.

“As board we simply don’t have the budget to maintain everything to the level we might like, so do we get rid of some and use the proceeds to upgrade others?

“If you go down that path, which community loses assets, which get the money, is that kind of policy fair and equitable?”

She says people need to be considering those types of question during the consultation period, open until 14 August.

“There’s $50,000 for McNicol Homestead. That decision was reached because someone stepped up and advocated for it. If people have a passion for something in their areas, or just believe it’s critical something is done, it’s time to speak up.”

For the Franklin draft plan click here. You can comment at the same site until 14 August.

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