A heartfelt plea for help and support to achieve better services and facilities for Wellsford was made at last month’s Rodney Local Board meeting.
Caroline Milner, from Wellsford Community Voice, told members that the town had developed a community plan, but now it needed Local Board guidance on how to make priority projects actually happen. These include completing a path from the town centre to Centennial Park and a proper streetscape with upgraded footpaths and facilities in the town centre.
“This plan is a call to action. We don’t have a lot of volunteers and groups. We need to know how we can better engage with the Local Board to get the outcomes we need,” she said. “We have difficulty in understanding where next and how we do it, and what will help us work together with you in a better way.”
She said she thought complaining achieved little, but she was sad that there was such a huge disconnection between the standard of Council facilities in the city and in Wellsford.
“With the rates we pay, we need to see things coming back into the community. We need every dollar back into our community.
“We have to start planning how things can be brought up to even basic levels,” she said. “In the city, there are schemes that are putting icing on the cake, but in Wellsford we haven’t even baked it yet.
There has to be a balance with keeping us up to standard.”
Ms Milner said a lot of work had been put into creating the Wellsford Community Plan and its objectives over the last two years, but now professional help was needed to progress. As an example, she said meetings with KiwiRail, the Walking Access Commission and others had been held about the best route for a path to cross the rail track and down to Centennial Park, and a strategic assessment had been made, but the project was currently stalled.
“We’re stuck on discussion of footpath and access – we need the Local Board to start putting it on its list. Could it be from the targeted rate, or would it come under the capital fund? Where does it come?
We’re out of our skill level and we need to know what the next stage is.
“We know what we want, but need the Local Board to identify what’s on the table and when, to see what outcome we can have. We need the Board’s support to show we are doing it right.”
Wellsford board member Colin Smith said the town was lucky to have people like Ms Milner moving in, who were willing to work with the local government system.