Focusing on future and setting priorities

Community Board Notes WEST OTAGO

With the local elections behind us, it is now time to focus on the future for our area.

It is exciting to welcome two new members to the West Otago Community Board, Mark Diamond and Sonia Richardson, and to also welcome back Michelle Kennedy and John Herbert as our local council representatives on the Clutha District Council.

I know they will all advocate well for West Otago.

At our first meeting — and the last for the year — discussion focused on the West Otago ‘‘Our Place’’ community plan and our priorities.

The Playground group has been meeting regularly and it is great to see the interest in this project.

Likewise, the Walking and Cycling group has been working with Clutha Development personnel. It will be interesting to see what they come up with regarding bike tracks in and around West Otago.

Concern has been raised about affordable housing in Tapanui and the availability of suitable sections.

Our priority has to be the development of a housing subdivision or likewise for Tapanui.

We have had various discussions about the possibility of developing an area which is council-owned land at the top end of Tapanui and will look to further investigate this ready for discussion early in the new year.

Housing, or lack of it, seems to be the No 1 priority at the moment.

Trees are always a controversial subject in any town.

This week, after consultation with our community, we have had three trees removed, two because of damage to infrastructure and one because the tree was dying.

Advice will be sought to find a suitable species for the main street tree.

The West Otago A & P Show was a wonderful way to end the week. It is always an eagerly-awaited event in the yearly calendar.

The day did not disappoint, with mild cloudy conditions and lots to see.

There seemed to be great support for all sections at the show. I especially enjoyed the entertainment provided, ranging from Highland dancers to hip-hop and a visitor from Otago Museum who kept people of all ages highly entertained.

Of course, none of these events can run without the support of volunteers and I would like to acknowledge the many people throughout the district who helped make this event the success it was.

Well done to all concerned and I look forward to the 2023 show.

ÍWest Otago Community Board chairwoman Barbara Hanna.