Glittering town hall scene of public conversation

02:04, May 21 2014
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Marie Pearce in the Inglewood town hall

Despite the presence of the mayor and about eight councillors, Inglewood's town hall was the star of last night's "community conversation."

The meeting, in the beautifully-restored 100-year-old building, was held last night as part of the New Plymouth District Council's community engagement initiative called New Plymouth District - Shaping our Future Together.

Councillor Marie Pearce, who has lived in Inglewood for 40 years, said the town's people were a contented lot.

"It's a wonderfully community-supported town. I love it here with a passion."

At the meeting, which was the second in a series that aimed to encourage communication between the council and communities, Mayor Andrew Judd spoke to about 50 people, amongst cups of tea and Tim Tam biscuits.

"It's about us as a community having a conversation together," he said, adding that the town hall was "the gem of the province."

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Apart from someone immediately pointing out that the clock had stopped, the crowd was a well behaved one dominated by people in the 50-plus age bracket.

A couple of young sisters were there representing the under 15s, however.

"Inglewood needs a Subway," said 11-year-old Inglewood Primary School pupil Jennifer Jacobsen, who after further deliberation added she thought the town needed a McDonalds and a fenced-off paddling pool in a park as well.

Her sister, Alyssa Jacobsen, 13, of Inglewood High, said the town needed to provide more jobs for teenagers.

"There are heaps of teenagers with jobs here, but we need more jobs to choose from," she said.

The next community conversation, which will be "child friendly," will be held at the Parents Centre on Buller St, in New Plymouth on May 27.

Taranaki Daily News