The community development committee meeting was held on 21 April 2016. Apologies were received from Mayor Kempthorne, Cr Ensor, Cr Bouillir and Cr Mirfin. All other councillors were present.
The agenda included: (1) Chair’s report, (2) Tasman logo, and (3) Community development activity report. A confidential (in-committee) session was held in relation to (1) Wakefield pensioner housing, and (2) receipt of the Rainbow Sport Club (ski field) confidential presentation on their financial situation and the matter of their outstanding council loan repayments.
Tim Gladstone (on behalf of Target Shooting Nelson) asked for funding assistance for their proposed new range on Saxton field. The club have raised funding of $373,500 for this facility but have a total shortfall of $82,000 (including geotech work, contingencies and Nelson City Council/Development Impact Levies).
A new TDC logo
Council resolved to adopt and gradually roll-out (as equipment, signage, and vehicles are replaced) the new 2013 revised single colour (blue) TDC logo, as time, resources, and budgets allow. The council’s direction was to ensure the “lowest cost” roll out of the brand change.
The council currently has 2 logos that it uses for its signage and stationery – one multi-coloured version (developed in 2008) and the other being the single colour (blue) version developed in 2013 (at a cost of around $430), during my time on the now dis-established communications subcommittee. The purpose of the single colour version was to enable in-house printing of documents (and invoices), at substantially lower cost, than ordering pre-printed full colour letter headed paper (see earlier posts at www.greeningtasman.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/communications-subcommittee-27-march and www.greeningtasman.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/communications-subcommittee-10-december).
Community development activity report
The committee resolved to receive the report. Highlights from the manager’s report included:
- Golden Bay Community Recreation Facility. The contractor had to stop work a few weeks ago on the Golden Bay Community Recreation Facility due to a large soft spot being found under where the building is to be constructed. The contractor’s engineers have assessed the problem and identified a potential solution.
- Aquatic and Fitness Centre. Heating panels in the sauna failed recently. The panels have been overheating and scorching the timber behind them. Aquatic Centre staff have kept the sauna closed since this incident and have had the old panels replaced with a greater gap between them and the timber behind them. The suppliers advise that the panels only have an expected life of 5 to 6 years.
- Rabbit Island/Moturoa Reserve Management Plan. Staff completed work on the Draft Rabbit Island/Moturoa Reserve Management Plan (RMP) to be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of the Committee following the Corporate Services meeting on 5 May 2016.
- Fees and charges. Submissions on the Schedule of Fees and Charges closed on 31 March 2016. One submission was received in relation to increasing scrap metal charges at our recycling centres. No detail was included in the submission. Therefore, a hearing is not required and staff will be bringing a report back to Full Council on 12 May 2016 to adopt the Schedule of Charges.
- Solid waste (landfill). Following on from your decisions at Full Council on 3 March 2016, staff have established a joint venture project team and are currently working to establish the joint venture agreement for the landfill operations – including the structure and responsibilities.
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). During March TDC undertook a selection process to select a vendor for the installation of RFID in the libraries. The vendor selected was FE Technology (an Australian company).
- Health and safety. Contractors have installed the new security cameras in the Richmond Library. Duress alarms have also been acquired for library staff working front of house.
The committee resolved to receive the report. Highlights from the report include:
- Community Awards. The ceremony would be changed to an afternoon, on the same day as a council meeting, to facilitate and encourage attendance by councillors. However, only the Mayor, Cr Canton, Cr Inglis, Cr Higgins and myself attended?
- Richmond SmartWeek. This is being partnered with Tasman District Libraries, and will include a week of activities, seminars and workshops run across different venues in Richmond. I attended the opening breakfast session held at the Wooden Spoon cafe, and a workshop at the library. In my feedback, I suggested they run a session on Google docs as this might be a useful application for clubs and not-for-profits.
Agenda and minutes
The agenda and minutes are located at: www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/community-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/CommunityServicesCommittee/2016/2016-04-21.
The communications subcommittee meeting was held on 27 March 2014. Councillor Bryant submitted his apologies. All other subcommittee members (Cr Edgar, Cr Bouillir, Cr Dowler, and myself) were in attendance.
The agenda for the meeting included: (1) a broadening of the councils engagement policy, (2) various reports from staff in relation to online and communications activity, (3) the completion of outstanding action items (including a simplified logo that council printers could use), and (4) the disestablishment of this subcommittee.
An expanded engagement approach
Council staff had proposed broadening its engagement policy. The underlying reason was two fold. First, there is a statutory requirement to have a consultation policy incorporated within the TDC’s Governance Statement. Secondly, the council anted to improve its engagement with the community. As such, the proposed policy statement went “beyond” the current legislative requirements. I think the word “beyond” was possibly a poor choice of words to describe what is intended, and perhaps words suggesting a “smarter” approach to community engagement would have better described what was intended.
For me the fact the policy was intended to go “beyond” current legislative requirements raises concerns over cost. The last thing council want at this time is a widening of council activities which invariably invites staff to ask for more resourcing due to their expanded role. However, staff reassured the subcommittee that was not the intention. To explain what was intended by going “beyond” the current legislative requirements, staff gave the example of a resource consent decision notice. Under the legislation, the notice only has to state that a decision has been made and for whom it was made for – barely a paragraph on a single page letter to affected parties. What council sought to do was take the opportunity to use the rest of the page to explain what the decision meant for affected parties. It was suggested that this would not take much more time to prepare and would not result in any additional costs for council. While the Community Development manager could not reassure the subcommittee that costs would not increase for other departments (eg engineering), as she was not responsible for those departments, it was felt that operating “smarter” should have no increased costs for council.
Communication and online activity
The council reports provided a very strong indication of the increasing use of online media both in utilising the council web site and also in the use of online library media (ie, digital books, newspaper and magazine access, and database resources).
Councils publishing programme
Four Newsline and one Mudcake & Roses publication were produced in the first quarter of this year. By way of additional background it is worth noting the cost of these publications.
Mudcakes & Roses is a 2-monthly publication aimed at those that are not so young in our community. It costs the council approximately $5,207 per issue (or $31,242 per year) to produce. These costs include discounting from advertising revenue (currently $1,900 per issue) and Nelson Council financial support ($1,600 per issue).
Generally, Newsline is a two weekly publication. In 2012, there were 23 issues plus a special annual plan issue. Newsline costs the council approximately $9,753 per issue (or using a rough estimate of 24 issues per year, approximately $234,072 per year). This is offset by approximately $800 of advertising per issue (or $18,400 for 23 issues, as no advertising appears in the special annual plan issue). Apparently, Newsline is suppose to offset the need to advertise council meetings and other statutory requirements (excluding resource consent notices, as these are paid for by the applicant) in local newspapers. I have been advised that the cost of publishing public notices is between $200 to $600 per notice placement in local papers. But from what I have seen, this does not appear to be the case. Rather, I have seen the same council notices that appear in Newsline appearing in many of the local newspapers.
Council also publishes two other annual publications. Namely “Hummin” (costing approximately $29,874) and “Boredom Busters” which is a quarterly holidays programme for kids (costing approximately $10,362 per issue, or approximately $41,448 per year).
As you can see, council has a very large publishing program. In my opinion, the publishing budget could easily be reduced. For example, Newsline could contain less pages and\or be published less frequently. Mud & Roses could also reduce its frequency or be cancelled altogether.
At present, there seems little political will to do so. However, I hope that through the annual plan submission process, more pressure from the public is placed on council to reduce its publishing budget to give other councillors the confidence to make the cuts that need to happen.
A simplified logo
One other item of interest to me was the simplified Tasman logo that will be used on the new internally printed letter (so we do not need to acquire printed letter head stationary). We were advised at an earlier meeting that it would only cost a few hundred dollars to do. I was advised that that the final cost was approximately $430.
The last meeting
The disestablishment of this subcommittee was a significant item and one that I welcomed. As reported to in earlier posts this subcommittee had been asked at its last meeting to consider a diminished role. The subcommittee pushed back on that proposal and in my opinion, if the subcommittee could not take a significant role, I really had question why it existed at all. Further, much of what is reported to the communications subcommittee could be, and is, presented to the community development committee. Thus, this subcommittee’s function was somewhat redundant. Credit to staff and the chair in pushing for its early retirement.
Finally, I wish to note how pleasurable it has been working with staff and councillors on this subcommittee. Credit must go to Cr Edgar’s chairing role and to the informal and friendly manner of member councillors. If there was one benefit that comes from subcommittee’s it is the opportunity to get to know fellow councillors a little more.
Agenda and minutes
The agenda and minutes for this meeting can be found at: http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/subcommittee-meetings/commerical-subcommittee/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/CommercialSubcommittee/2014-02-28.