Wanted: bright ideas for your town

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 14/11/2012

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Residents from two Manawatu towns have the chance at public meetings this week to improve the place they call home.

Halcombe and Sanson will be the first towns to benefit from Manawatu District Council's community planning project, an initiative encouraging teamwork between the council and community members to make improvements in their towns.

The public workshop section is set to start today, with Halcombe residents invited to air their ideas at this evening's meeting, and Sanson residents tomorrow night.

Council community services group manager Brent Limmer said the project would support communities, help them build vision for their town, and aid them in making improvements.

"People can get involved as much, or as little, as they choose . . . one group may choose to progress a main street upgrade, another might simply wish to do a one-off planting to beautify the cemetery walkway."

Mr Limmer said anyone and everyone could get involved, and encouraged all residents to have their say during the public consultation phase.

"All are welcome to come and share their ideas.

"While the workshops and meetings are aimed at producing, ultimately, a draft document outlining what projects are key to each village's future, it is very much up to the community to drive that and to help undertake those projects," Mr Limmer said.

"This involves wide-ranging participation by the community; the aim is to facilitate each community to identify what it wants for its future."

After the public workshops phase, a council-appointed project manager will work with community members to develop plans.

These will then be taken back to the wider community in December for further discussion.

More Manawatu towns and villages are set to follow suit with Apiti, Rangiwahia, Kimbolton and Himatangi Beach due to start collecting ideas for improvements next year and Rongotea and Pohangina in 2014.

Halcombe's public meeting is being held in Halcombe Hall at 7pm.

Sanson's meeting is at the Sanson Community Hall at 7pm tomorrow.

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- Manawatu Standard

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