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Monday, May 01, 2017

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Sports Organisations and Clubs have your say

David Mortimore
Community Sport Team Leader
Sport Bay of Plenty

Every week many sports clubs, sports organisations and the wider public use fields and facilities that are provided by our local councils. It is not always something that is given consideration but councils are major providers of sports and recreation facilities and without them much of what happens in the sport sector would simply not be possible.

Over the next month or so across the Bay of Plenty local councils Long Term Plans 2015-2025 are open for submissions. A core part of this process is public consultation whereby you have the opportunity to be involved and have your say!

Long Term Plans are key tools for councils that enable them to set out priorities and work programmes. They outline everything a council plans to do, how it fits together and what it costs.

The upcoming consultation is an opportunity for local people to have their say in local decision-making. It is important whether you are a Regional Sports Organisation or a Club Committee to know what your local Council is planning for sport and recreation in your community. You could consider getting more involved in council planning by submitting to your Council’s Long Term Plan process.

If you have an infrastructure request or a project you would like to progress and want your local councils support, then Sport Bay of Plenty would encourage your organisation to make a submission. If you don’t make your views known you are likely to miss out. Every person who lodges a written submission on time is entitled to a written acknowledgement and an opportunity to attend a hearing. The hearing will give you chance to speak for a few minutes to explain your submission to Elected Members and answer any questions they may have.

Some things to consider when making your submission:

- Ensure your submission is about an issue Council is responsible for.

- State what your topic is and where it fits into councils plans. If your submission relates directly to a particular point in existing plans state the page and quote the comment.

- Provide evidence of need that is quantified and verifiable.

- Outline the benefits to your city or district (e.g. participation and hosting events).

- Show that you have given consideration to alternative options (e.g. partnering, multi-use).

- Give evidence of your organisation’s capability and financial sustainability.

- Make sure you emphasise how your idea will benefit the wider community.

- Say if you are in support of, or in opposition to a particular issue and why. It is important to support the good things that Council does, or is planning to do, so that they keep on doing so.

- Tell Council what decision you want them to make.

- Use headings and/or bullet points – it makes your point(s) clearer.

- If you have a good idea about how your project can be funded through a different funding agency or achieved without funding, state it.

Well prepared and widely supported public submissions do make a difference. Our Community Sport staff at Sport Bay of Plenty can assist you with preparing submissions for more information call 07 578 0016. Details on how and when you can make submissions are published on council websites or are available from their offices.

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