Kelvin Avenue 3rd Option goes to community consultation

Yes, the alternative option I have recently blogged about has been put before council and we have determined that it should go out to community consultation.
In seconding the motion proposed by my co-councillor I was keen and promoted so to my fellow elected members that the Clarence Park community deserved to have an opportunity to participate in the decision as to whether the project proceed or not. The alternative would have been for the project to have been abandoned which a handful of elected members felt was appropriate.
To abandon the project after our administration put a valiant effort into finding a solution that might work, that responded to concerns raised in the last consultation would have been a slap in the face to the administration.
As all who have followed this project and know my position on it will realise I have, from the very beginning, indicated my vote in the chamber will be in accordance with the majority wish of the people I represent. Last night many of the elected members indicated likewise.
So now it is the people’s turn.
Let democracy work!

Kelvin Avenue agenda for Monday night meeting

We have received our agenda for Monday night’s City Strategy & Policy committee meeting and Kelvin Avenue comes back to us for further consideration.
We have three options being put to us by our administration for consideration including the original option, which remains administrations recommended option. The second option is to not proceed and the third option is one that administration has worked on to address the issues raised during the consultation process and to address issues with ETSA’s transformer.
This option is for a single lane road opening up each end to allow two way traffic. This concept apparently provides ETSA with enough room to access their transformer as and when they may need to and does leave enough room for greenscaping (for want of a better word).
If the original option is Council’s preferred option then it will go back out in time to consultation from DTEI, as I understand it.
If the revised concept gets up then WE will go back out to consultation with the outcome being reported to Council at its meeting on 12 December 2011.  Jennie and I are keen that all people with an interest in the outcome contribute and we will be looking to catch up with each of you in the time available to us.
Watch this space for the result of Monday night’s meeting.

Kelvin Avenue Update

As promised I can now give you all an update on the progress of Kelvin Avenue.
A new draft (compromise) scheme has been designed by our Administration. I have a copy of this. All elected members have checked out the site, all but one did so on one of two conducted tours. The second group (including myself) toured the site yesterday. This group were the first to see the draft scheme.
The design incorporates a driveway path that will allow two way traffic via passing bays at either end. It is therefore no longer a pocket park warranting a road closure. It does green the area up and ETSA will have the access they need to their transformer.
You would all be aware that, until now, I have refrained from offering a personal opinion on the design. I must say however that I am encouraged by this design though. It has potential and may well be something that might have eventuated had we consulted correctly back this time last year.
There is still some work to be done on it before it can be put before Council so I suspect we (Council) will not see it until the October City Strategy & Policy Committee meeting, which will be the 17th. Until it is seen by council in its final draft form it is not due for public consultation and because it may change due to addressing engineering issues and the like it may well be inappropriate to give anyone an advanced view.

Kelvin Avenue Update

I can confirm that a meeting was held today with Jennie Boisvert and our traffic manager Charles Mountain to explore some of the solutions I previously explored with Charles. I was meant to be involved but had a prior engagement. Whether it was meant to be a public meeting or not a number of residents did attend.

Even though I arrived (after my surgery follow-up consultation at the QEH) just as it was disbanding I believe I have a good understanding of the options discussed, having talked to not only Jennie & Charles but with two others present, and the mood of acceptance for these options.
It appears from this meeting that a compromise (if I can use that word) solution may be possible (not necessarily preferred by individuals in the meeting but willing to be considered). This would be in the form of designing a shared or one-way road, allowing exit from Kelvin onto East but not the reverse. I have my own perception of how this would need to be designed to work and I have discussed this with a few who attended the meeting. Having said that we need to allow Charles to work on a concept that we can all then input into.
As I understand it procedurally the concept would need to be put to the City Strategy Meeting for approval to consult and this would need to be endorsed by council at the council meeting the following week. If I am correct consultation as such would not be possible until this is complete and this would mean about 4 or so weeks from now; basically starting from scratch allowing all (and I mean all) to provide input.

Council Meeting 22nd August 2011
Following on yesterday’s blog re last night’s full council meeting I report as follows:
Kelvin Avenue.
Kelvin Avenue will now be reconsidered by the City Strategy & Policy Committee Meeting on the 19th of next month. This will give us (council) time to review the latest submissions. It will also provide the breathing space for those with an interest (whether in support or not) to lobby their point of view without the rush and panic of last week.
Not only will Jennie and I be seeking to ascertain what can and can’t be done for traffic management we will intensify our efforts to seek a solution that works for all those with vested interests.
Deputy Mayor
The motion for deputy mayor was put to council tonight and was voted down 9 to 3. Clearly we are not ready to have a deputy mayor. I went to the meeting ready to support the motion believing we were ready. It was soon clear to me that this is not the case so I voted against it.
Assuming it will be reintroduced later in the year, by the mayor himself, I expect we might find a different result.
Eastern Region Alliance
Recovering from last week’s surgery I did not stay long enough to know how we voted on this issue
No Smoking Initiatives
I did not stay long enough to know how we voted on this issue
Inner Metro Rim
I did not stay long enough to know how we voted on this issue
Culvert Street
There were too many issues, too many questions, that required addressing for this to be resolved tonight so it too was deferred.
With kelvin Avenue firmly in our minds there was a clear mood within the chamber last night that there should be more than one week between the two meetings, City Strategy & Policy Committee meeting and the full Council meeting.
It does not provide sufficient time for either our ratepayers or for elected members to review decisions from the City Strategy meeting before sanctioning them at the full Council meeting.
A motion has been foreshadowed, I think from Cr Denise Tipper to open this up to two weeks by swapping the City Strategy meeting with the Development Assessment Panel meeting.
This has to be one good thing to come out of last night.

Council Meeting – tonight – 22nd August 2011

There is much on the agenda tonight as we consider the following:
Kelvin Avenue.
Beginning obviously with Kelvin Avenue I am expecting, in fairness to all who are interested in this project (whether for or against), that this will be deferred for further consideration at the next City Strategy Meeting, due for 19th September. I am still keen to find a solution that provides a win for all. To that end our Traffic Officer will be meeting shortly with Jennie & I to review the thoughts of how the egress from Mills Street in particular can be improved.
This time I hope we can have canvassed all the issues and have a more detailed report on which to make our decision. This should include an assessment of how proposed traffic control measures on Leah Street might impact on the volume of traffic using East Avenue.
Deputy Mayor
Jennie has foreshadowed moving that we now appoint a deputy mayor. As I blogged recently I am happy to vote in favour of this as long as we are doing it for the right reasons. Refer my blog of 19th August.
Eastern Region Alliance
We have a request to contribute to funding to support the development of the Federal Initiatives Group. With the federal government paying more attention to regional rather than local approaches to access federal programs this seems like a necessary initiative.
No Smoking Initiatives
As a non-smoker and someone with respiratory challenges I am very receptive to offering significant discounts on permit fees for outdoor dining to encourage non-smoking in outdoor dining areas. I would expect this one to be approved.
Inner Metro Rim
As I reported on the 8th August the Government backed down on imposing inner rim strategies that were in direct conflict with our understanding of what they were prepared to accept. With some further minor amendments on our part I expect we will endorse the inner rim plan.
Culvert Street
And then there is Culvert Street. Culvert Street has for reasons that go beyond council and local government experienced a similar history as Kelvin Avenue. Rate payers in this area are also making claims of a lack of consultation.
With works to undertaken by DTEI unlikely to proceed for some time the turning of this street into a one way street has proved premature.
Per a motion from Cr Rufus Salaman we will be considering temporarily reverting it back to 2 way, not without cost. Subject to further information indicating DTEI will be bringing forward their work and/or the cost implications this seems like something we need to do.

Will Kelvin Avenue get reserved out for further discussion

There appears to have been much discussion around the Kelvin Avenue project whilst I have been allowing the doctors at TQEH to beat me up.

I arrived home on Friday to find the resolution to the City Strategy Meeting had not been reserved out in the time required and I left well enough alone. If an item is not reserved out it cannot be, as I understand it be re-debated. In other words the only way that a resolution of a committee of council be not endorsed is for it to be reserved out.

Whilst I felt I had solutions for the issues that closing Kelvin Avenue would create, addressing those solutions would now be an after thought that still must get through the system.

This does not address the concerns about our procedures for consultation however. It has been an ongoing concern of mine since joining council, whether this project, the Culvert Street project currently being challenged or the recent McLeay Park project (Parkside ward) I got involved with.

My concerns about the evidence presented regarding our consultation process are such that, even though I moved the motion last week, I have sought advice as to whether or not it is still too late to reserve out the matter for further deliberation. I may have left this too late as a result of being in hospital. Hopefully not. We will find out tomorrow if this is the case.

If it is not too late I will reserve it out in the interests of transparency and will be encouraging a re-think by elected members on Kelvin Avenue. If it is too late I will (as I have previously intimated) seek to change our consultation processes.

We need to do this to avoid coming into conflict with the people we are representing.

Kelvin Avenue & A challenge re transparency

The Kelvin Avenue pocket park was approved last night at Council’s City & Strategy Committee meeting. It now goes to full council next week for sanction, unless an elected member reserves it out for further debate.

Last night was also another chapter in my education as a councillor. Having had conversations with so many of the residents over this issue I voted as I promised everyone I would, in keeping with the majority view I encountered.  This was in favour of the park.
I not only voted in favour of the park I moved the motion, albeit modified from the one recommended by council’s administration. It made sense to me to find a solution to address the legitimate concerns of those not in favour of the pocket park.
That was to add to the motion a call to assess and address the ability of Mills street and George Street to feed into East Avenue until such time as we hopefully find East Avenue is no longer a through road for the southern rat runners. It appears that this confused the elected members more than provide a solution focus to the problems identified by residents as concerns with the Pocket Park.
As reported in earlier blogs on Kelvin Avenue (6 June – in particular items 3 & 4), Mills Street (8 August) East Avenue Rail Crossing ( 27 June) & Line Marking (18 June), issues do exist with accessibility, particularly in Mills Street and I intend to pursue this anyway as a separate stand-alone issue by putting a motion on notice in keeping with the amendments I tried to establish last night.
Suggestions were made last night challenging the transparency of our processes shocked and confused not only Councillors Koumi and Saies, as new members of council, but it did me as well. This prompts me to want to investigate more fully our consultation processes because when faced with the next decision I must make (and beyond) I need to be sure I have the facts necessary to make an informed decision. This I will do.
It raises in my mind how we determine who gets surveyed and who does not. In this case the geographical area of the original survey for consideration of the “pocket” park may well have been a reasonable area in context of the park and what it will provide the community but the geographical area for a road closure must be different as those affected grows.

Working Closer to Home on the Kelvin Avenue Pocket Park

After helping others on the other side of the City I am now embracing the wants and needs of people in my own Ward with an issue that is very close to home, again concerning open space.

Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park POCKET Park

After an initial public consultation 12 months ago Council, with the approval of a majority of residents approved a pocket park for the eastern section of Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park. With the need to obtain DTEI approval for the road closure to allow construction of the park, we are again engaging the public.

Affected residents have been written to by Council’s adminsitration and a public notice was placed in the Eastern Courier inviting submissions.
Residents having an opinion, having anything to offer, or with suggestions to make, should send in their written submission to Council’s administration, prior to the 15th June.
To ensure that those affected by this project do get a say I have commenced door knocking in the area.
I have met a number good people today and heard a number of observations, both for and against, regarding the park. I appreciate the opportunity of being made aware of these varying views.
Thank you to all those people who have given me their time and shared their views. I await those who have an interest, who were not home and who have an interest enough to ring me in the near future.