Big push on community facilities

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 05/09/2012

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Pressure is on Christchurch City Council staff to report back on options for repairing or replacing a top-27 list of damaged community facilities by the end of the year.

The council released a draft "top priority" list for the repair of earthquake-damaged community facilities last week and had envisaged reporting back on options for fixing those facilities over an eight-month period.

But at a council community recreation and culture committee meeting yesterday, councillors voted to bring forward the reporting deadline for all the facilities on the list to December.

Cr Tim Carter led the push for the deadline to be brought forward because he was concerned that by staggering the reporting deadlines, the council was giving priority to some of the community facilities on the top-27 list over others.

He said the council should have the same reporting deadline for all the facilities on the list.

"It's about visibility and measurability," Carter said.

Michael Aitken, the general manager charged with overseeing the council's facilities rebuild programme, said the reporting deadlines had been staggered because it was unlikely there would be enough information available on repair options for all the facilities by December.

Council staff could report back earlier, but it would distract them, he said.

Councillors accepted Aitken's note of caution but voted to proceed with the change in deadline.

Committee chairman Cr Yani Johanson said it was important the council "give hope" to the community.

"We have spent a huge amount of time and energy on city-centre projects," he said.

"It is important we are seen not to be focused just on the city centre . . . but we're also working on getting our libraries, service centres and community facilities back up and running."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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