• Jill Herron

Nominations Open for Board Seat

Updated: Apr 29, 2021

Nominations are open to fill the vacancy that arose on the Cromwell Community Board following Robin Dicey’s resignation this month.

Any NZ citizen who is enrolled on an electoral roll can stand as long as they are nominated by two electors who reside within the Cromwell Community Board area. If there is more than one nomination, there will be a public vote opening at the start of July, a Central Otago District Council spokesperson confirmed yesterday. Board members are paid an annual allowance of $7,123.00

Nominations would close on May 27 and no vote would necessary if only one person was nominated.

Members are elected every three years and there are seven members. Current on the board are Anna Harrison(chair), Neil Gillespie(deputy chair), Werner Murray, Cheryl Laws, Nigel McKinlay and Tony Buchanan.

In a statement Mrs Harrison said the resignation of My Dicey was unexpected.

“The Board thanks Mr Dicey for his service to the community over the last four and a half years. His passion and willingness to ask difficult questions have made for lively debate around the board table. His resignation was received verbally and formal resignation processes will now be followed. The Board wishes Robin well in his future endeavours and is sure he will continue to serve his community in other ways.”

Football Frustrations Stored Up

Unnecessarily bureaucratic behaviour by the Central Otago District Council was hampering the Cromwell Football Club in its efforts to properly store equipment, according to club executive member Michael Laws.

Mr Laws asked the Board for help after a request to the Council to place a 20ft container near the Alpha Street clubrooms had been declined. This was due to it not meeting requirements of the CODC’s sports park reserve management plan. The club had been told by Council other groups needed to be able to use the existing building’s storage areas, necessitating the request.

“It should be a simple request”, Mr Laws said. “It’s not a difficult piece of kit.”

Board chairperson Anna Harrison said the request had not been declined, the council did however need more information about the proposal. A plan had been requested of the club and was necessary for the process, council Parks and Recreation manager Gordon Bailey said.

A lack of hot water for showering was another ongoing issue at the clubrooms, which Mr Laws described as “not fit for purpose”.

The club organises training, competitions and tournament participation for around 140 junior and 25 senior players.

Youth Centre Florishing

An area of public garden has been handed over to the prospering Cromwell Youth Centre Trust by the Cromwell Community Board, as an extension to the group’s current lease at Murray Terrace.

More space is likely to be needed in the future, the board were told last week, with the organisation ultimately needing a ‘one-stop shop’ type facility, accessible to a range of services. They were also keen to find a location that would not be affected by the Cromwell Mall redevelopment. Membership to the centre was free and open to any young people in the area, with the group operating as a Charitable Trust. The number of youth and staff were both on the increase. The additional outdoor area at Murray Terrace would be laid with artificial turf for ease of management and use.

Promotional Funding Concerns CDPG

The work of the Cromwell & Districts Promotion Group could be jeopardised after a request to cover a funding gap, created by a change in local government procedure, was only partly granted.

Group chairperson Carolyn Murray told the Cromwell Community Board on Tuesday reserve funds held by the group were to cover the unexpected and they had not wished to deplete these while awaiting a delayed funding round later this year.

“We are passionate volunteers and work very hard for the benefit of our town. This could put us in a tenuous position.”

The group requested $35,000 to cover operational work done by contractors and the Light Up Winter annual event. The group had earlier told council it did not have sufficient reserves to cover work planned for the 2021-2022 year. Council had encouraged them to seek alternate funding but they had been unable to do this, according to a report.

The promotion group had a strong record of facilitating much-loved community events, however the board should be mindful of being seen as the ongoing funder of staff, it stated.

Board deputy chairperson Neil Gillespie moved a recommendation prepared by council media and marketing manager Alison Mason, that $15,000 be granted and used toward the Light Up Winter event. This was approved by the board.

“The contractor position is unfortunate but it is what it is and is not new,” he said.

The group had $70,000 in reserves would be able to apply for future funding, to be available for payment by October. Budgets for the now-contestable promotion and community grants had been reviewed and were currently subject to the Long-Term Plan process.

Menz Shed On The Move

The Cromwell Menz Shed is set to relocate again after the Board approved the group’s application to set up a permanent base off Bannockburn Road.

The community group began looking for a site nearly three years ago and have been operating since 2019 at a temporary location at the Cromwell Racecourse. Menz Shed members meet regularly to build and repair items, often helping other Cromwell groups with their projects.

According to a Board report the Menz Shed activity did not fit the Cromwell Racecourse Reserve Management Plan criteria to occupy its current location near Cromwell Pony Club.

Infrastructure had agreed to a lease of a 900sqm plot at the Cromwell Transfer Station and Closed Landfill Area and the board will recommend CODC fence a site, estimated at around $7710, for the group.

Recycling and repairing of items bought to the Transfer Station was anticipated as an advantage of having the skilled Menz Shed members on hand.

A $1 per annum, five year lease with two rights of renewal would give the group security of tenure. A separate gated entry would be created off Bannockburn Road for the new site.

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