On Friday, 28th April 2023, I presented my submission to the Christchurch City Council’s Draft Annual Plan 2023/24.
Five minutes for the fifth year in a row & 15 pages, advocating for the rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre & redevelopment of the Shirley Community Reserve, at 10 Shirley Road, Richmond.
Written Submission: https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/RedirectToDoc.aspx?URL=Open/2023/04/CAPL_20230428_AGN_8415_AT.PDF, Page 127-143
Blog Post: https://www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/ccc-draft-annual-plan-2023-2024-submission/
“The 10 Shirley Road site has historically been a ‘place of learning’ since 1915 when the original Shirley Primary School was built.
The foundation stone was laid on 16th June 1915.
In May 1977, the building and site became surplus to the Ministry of Education requirements.
In March 1978, Shirley Community Centre opened as a ‘place for cultural, educational and recreational activities’.
It was a Category 2 historic place (#7117) & demolished in 2012, due to earthquake damage.
To be honest, after 5 years advocating for this site, I didn’t know what more I could say in my submission this year.
It wasn’t until I started trying to condense my research into the 15 pages you have before you, that I reread the 2015 Shirley Community Facility Rebuild report.
https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2015/08/SPCB_19082015_AGN.PDF, Page 17-32
Well done, if you clicked on all the links in my written submission, you deserve a gold star!
The key point I would like to highlight today is found in:
Option 4 – Do not build a Community Facility at 10 Shirley Road.
In the ‘Legal Implications’ section: The land at 10 Shirley Rd is classified as reserve, vested in the Council by the Crown to be held ‘in trust for local purpose (site for a community centre)’.
That means the land could not be used for any other purpose than a community centre unless and until the reserve classification is changed.
It also appears the land could not simply sit ‘vacant’ with the reserve status unchanged, as that would also be inconsistent with the reserve purpose.
Option 4: Does not restore the service available pre-earthquake on what was a popular, heavily used site.
Unlikely to be acceptable to the Community.
Eight years after this report was written, residents have seen no further progress to reinstate their local community facility & the land has been left vacant.
The current 2030-31 funding time frame, does not align with the purpose of the reserve status & legal implications, or the District Plan changes where housing intensification has already exceed predicted population density in the suburbs surrounding the reserve.
Our demographics have changed, our rates have increased by 59%, we have a climate change emergency, yet we can’t ‘live local & go local’, when we have no ‘suburban’ sized libraries in the Innes Ward.
For the last 5 years I have been highlighting why this site is so important to our communities wellbeing.
A draft concept plan needs to be created & costed now, before a detailed budget can be presented to Council for approval.
We have been waiting for a rebuild since 2012.
Council doesn’t have to buy the land, or have an existing building demolished.
So let’s get on with it…”
Q. “Is there access to the [Shirley Primary] school across the road for community events and also with the North [Avon] hub just down the road on North Parade, has that changed your expectations?”
Kelly Barber, Councillor for Burwood Ward
A. “What I’ve presented from the beginning, since 2018, is not just a standard traditional community centre.
It’s a Learning Library, which involves putting a community centre building, that has the resources that a library has, with learning spaces, flexible spaces, meeting rooms.
All that we don’t have in our Innes Ward, and the closest option is the Shirley Library, which isn’t fit for purpose. It isn’t big enough, it doesn’t have those facilities available, so our communities are missing out or having to travel to other libraries.”
A. 1 | Shirley Primary School
11 Shirley Road, Shirley, https://shirleyprimary.school.nz/
The 10 Shirley Road site is central to our 14 local education providers, all are within 3km of the 10 Shirley Road site, Shirley Community Reserve.
Since the redevelopment of our local schools, after the earthquakes, our children now have access during the school day to new learning spaces, school halls, sports fields & playgrounds.
But our preschoolers, ‘home school’ children, ‘correspondence school’ children & children after school/during the school holidays, living in the communities surrounding 10 Shirley Road (Shirley, Dallington, Richmond, Edgeware, St Albans & Mairehau), don’t have access to learning spaces/books/resources, as there is no ‘suburban’ sized library in the Innes Ward & the Shirley Library has limited books/resources/seating & doesn’t have any learning spaces.
A. 2 | Avon Hub
77 North Parade, Pricing varies based on availability
Indoors: Full sized Basketball Gym with wooden floor – gym is 30m long x 21m wide.
Outdoors: 3/4 sized hockey turf which can be played as 3 futsal/korfball turf with sand based astro surface LED lights for night use.
While we have indoor & outdoor sports facilities/parks in our communities, they are aimed at ‘teams’, not ‘individuals’ & there are financial costs (hire costs, club fees, uniform etc) associated with participating in these sports, which can exclude residents on a low income.
Most sports are played after school, at night or during the weekend.
We have a lack of opportunities for those who are available during the daytime.
Our residents have plenty of opportunities to access greenspaces in their local communities:
– Sports Park, Local/Community Park, Garden & Heritage Park & Residential Red Zone:
– Sports Park:
MacFarlane Park (Shirley), https://goo.gl/maps/QhThPt1nuTxAm8UE7
Richmond Park (Richmond), https://goo.gl/maps/13AEMPazxMbRxmhg8
St Albans Park (St Albans), https://goo.gl/maps/98f3mpMW1tPiV1xR8
Westminster Park (Mairehau), https://goo.gl/maps/cc8c5m19k7KD393e8
Walter Park (Mairehau), https://goo.gl/maps/jVh8C8fEskeZKGXz7
We don’t have a lack of school facilities in our local communities.
We don’t have a lack of greenspaces in our local communities.
We don’t have a lack of community centres in our local communities.
What we do have is a lack of Christchurch City Council ‘suburban’ sized libraries in our local communities.
What we do have is a lack of places we can ‘be’ during the day in our local communities.
Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2023-2024 Presentation
Waiapapa Papanui-Innes-Central Community Board
Chairperson Emma Norrish and Deputy Chairperson Simon Britten
“Placemaking and greenspace shaping from Innes to Central
Shirley Community Reserve
Community conversations to realise the vision for the future of the reserve.”
Written Submission: https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2023/04/CAPL_20230427_AGN_8414_AT.PDF, Page 43-52
Page 45: 1.9 Capital Programme
i. Project 20053 (‘Shirley Community Centre’) – noting that though this is what this line item is labelled as, it is requested that this be re-labeled as a ‘community facility’ to more broadly reflect the consultation to be undertaken with this community on what is preferred for this site).