Where to from here

Waipā District Council has developed a comprehensive transport strategy for the Waipā district as a whole and the Cambridge Connections work is being undertaken in accordance with that.

Jo Davies-Colley

The Cambridge Community Board recognises the need for a transport strategy for our town and has reviewed the Cambridge Connections plan in detail.

We have engaged initially with the community both through our public forum and by attending the district council’s residents’ drop-in session held last week.

We also attended MP Louise Upston’s local forum, where we continued to hear community members feedback on this plan.

We acknowledge the significant response from residents in the proposed third bridge location and understand their feelings of shock, uncertainty and stress. We continue to receive substantial levels of feedback and engagement on this proposal from our community.  We wish to thank all members of the community who came to present to us or have connected with us via email or in person.

This is a significant and defining moment for the future liveability and vibrancy of Cambridge and we believe it will take time and comprehensive community engagement to achieve a satisfactory transport strategy.

We also acknowledge that the process of community engagement and consultation, unfortunately, is falling short of community expectations.  This has led to significant community concern and uncertainty about the future of their neighbourhoods. This was evident to us at both our meeting and the residents’ drop-in session.

The community board has spent time considering our feedback to Waipā District Council and our next steps.

Lining up to check out the options for a third bridge through Cambridge. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.

Firstly, we will be requesting a clear and comprehensive communication plan for the next steps of engagement and for a regular update to be provided to the board.  We expect this to be developed between the project team and communication teams at Waipā District Council with clear, concise messaging for the community at large.

We are urgently recommending to council that the submission date is extended further by a minimum of three months in order to allow both our board and the community to receive the detailed answers and information that they require to form their submissions.

We also propose that the Cambridge Community Board implement, facilitate and host a detailed question and answer session via video link in order to provide the community with the answers they require. We propose that the community submits questions in advance, and the board liaises directly with the project team in order to understand, and then present this information to the community.

As always, we welcome any member of the community to our monthly public forum meetings to present to us and the wider community. You can also email me or any of the board team directly with your thoughts on this plan or any other issue currently facing you. Our goal is to be friendly and visible representatives working effectively together for the good of our community.

A member of the public presses Transport manager Bryan Hudson for an answer as the drop in session began turning into a debacle. Photo: Mary Anne Gill.




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