Sport action plan voted down

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014

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All that was missing was a referee as Stratford district councillors went head-to-head during a debate over the future of sport in the town.

In dispute was the town's proposed sport and recreation strategy.

A report about the district's sports and recreational needs was given a thorough working over.

Some of the ideas mooted in the proposal include building new football fields and developing off-road loop trails for walkers and mountainbikers.

In December, the council received a report from Auckland firm Longdill and Associates which provided information about levels of participation in sport in the district as well as analysis about the current use of facilities and future community needs.

The report was funded by a grant from the TSB Community Trust.

However, despite council chief executive Sue Davidson recommending the councillors adopt the strategy, it was voted down.

Mayor Neil Volzke said although he agreed with the concept of having a strategy, he queried some of the information provided in the report.

"There is a great deal of information in the report that is highly questionable," he said.

The lack of input in the document from the Taranaki Regional Council was also a concern.

"That bothers me," Mr Volzke said.

Councillor John Sandford was also against the move.

He said he questioned some of the suggestions made in the action plan and wanted more discussion to take place about them before any decisions were made.

"I'm not prepared to put ratepayers money to it," he said.

Mrs Davidson said there had been wide consultation about the report's content and it had also been sent out to sports groups in Stratford for comment before it was finalised.

After the vote was lost, there was agreement by councillors to table the report for further discussion at a future council meeting.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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