What does ‘making a submission’ entail?
Actually not a lot and it’s not as scary as it sounds! From 29 March 2018 there will be an easy online form on the HCC website. We will also post links on the NECH Facebook page and in local residents’ groups.
Why should I make a submission?
The number of submissions is important – HCC will take more notice of public opinion if a lot of people give the same or similar feedback. We at NECH strongly encourage you to have your say.
Note that people tend to be more vocal when they are objecting to something – if you approve of something in the draft plan and you don’t make a submission saying so, then your views are likely to be drowned out by the people who are against. It is definitely worth making a simple submission saying ‘I fully support such-and-such a project and support it going ahead in year 2 of the plan’ if that’s your view.
The more submissions in support of a project, the more likely it is to actually happen. The more submissions opposing a project, the more likely it is to get shelved or delayed.
On projects that are borderline, your submission really could be the one that makes all the difference.
Remember that this is your opportunity to influence Council on how your ratepayer money is spent over the next 10 years.
What should I write in my submission?
You don’t have to say much – just what parts of the draft plan you support or object to, and why. If you are able to give personal examples, this will support your views. As an example, a good submission might be something like:
“I support the plan to build a new library in the Rototuna town centre because a closer library would make a significant difference to my family. My child loves to borrow library books but it takes us 25 minutes to get from home to Chartwell library”.
It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that!
Do I have to do a verbal presentation to support my submission?
No. You have the option to request to present your submission in person to the Councillors in May 2018, but you are not obliged to. Most submitters don’t, but it’s actually not as scary as you may think! Plenty of ordinary people, with varying views and experience, speak in front of the Council. There’s no expectation for you to be a professional speaker and you can be accompanied by as many support people as you like.
Is there an option for someone else to speak to Council on my behalf?
Yes. North East Community Hub are planning on having a representative speak on behalf of the community in the north-east of Hamilton. If you’re daunted by the idea of talking in front of the Elected Councillors, NECH can represent your views if you tell us what those views are. We’ll make more posts over the coming weeks to gauge local feedback on the issues affecting our area of Hamilton. You are most welcome to contact NECH any time to let us know your views on the draft 10-year plan. We will do our best to represent the interests of our community.