Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and City Councillor Paul Eagle (Chair of the Council’s Community, Sport and Recreation Committee) agree that accessibility to swimming facilities is important so youngsters learn to swim and annual drownings reduce.
Yesterday’s meeting of the Council’s Governance, Finance and Planning Committee, deliberating on the 10-Year Plan, agreed to commit $185,000 to an upgrade of the Newtown School Pool in 2015/16 and a further $250,000 in 2016/17.
Some $15,000 was set aside for an upgrade of Kilbirnie School Pool and $45,000 for Berhampore School Pool.
“While the 10-Year Plan rightfully has a strong focus on the economic wellbeing of the region, we certainly have kept our eyes on grassroots community needs,” Mayor Wade-Brown says.
Cr Eagle says the Council recognises that it has to take a role in community safety. “If schools are struggling to maintain essential facilities like pools then we are morally obliged to help out. An advantage of Council investment in these facilities is that they will be made more accessible to the general community as well.
"Our city is surrounded by water and one death by drowning is one too many. It's vital our 32,000 children have easy access to a pool and that learning to swim is inexpensive. Council's investment will mean more access for the public too."
While community funding was already a considerable part of the draft budget, in response to submissions Council has made further increases.
Other community spending decisions of interest:
- An extra $50,000 in 2015/16 to support improved services focusing on begging and rough sleeping in the City in addition to the $60,000 pa to support Te Mahana organisations addressing homelessness in the city.
- Kaka Village planning project (Brooklyn Hub and Vogelmorn Precinct) – feasibility and concept plans - $65,000.
- Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club – proposed building – an extra $350,000 to be allocated in 2016/17 subject to the terms of the existing MOU and the club raising the balance.
- Team Wellington Football – up to $20,000 toward ground fees in 2015/16.
- $350,000 for an artificial turf on the site of the former Terawhiti Bowling Club at Karori Park. Funding is contingent on Karori Waterside FC raising its share of the costs.
- $80,000 for the Capital BMX club to complete its BMX track project at Ian Galloway Park.
- An extra $295,000 for the proposed Sportsville clubrooms and associated facilities at Alex Moore Park. The funding is contingent on successful fundraising by the clubs involved.
- A partnership fund of $40,000 a year for the development of sports hubs with $500,000 of partnership funding from 2017/18 to support development of facilities
- An additional $100,000 a year to support increased capacity for community centres