Community Plans Review

We are starting our Community Plan review process with some focus groups, followed by a public survey from 12 April 2019 and the responses from both will feed into the new set of Community Plans for our district.

We have community plans in place for towns across our district, which help inform elected members about what our communities value and think about our activities and services.

Some of these plans were written many years ago and it’s a good time to ‘check-in’ with our communities and change, add or confirm the plans we have in place. We want to get a good sense of what’s important to each community.  Knowing what our community values will help your Community Board and Council make more informed decisions around funding and to prioritise the services and activities that are most important to your community.

We are starting our Community Plan review process with some focus groups, followed by a public survey from 12 April 2019 and the responses from both will feed into the new set of Community Plans for our district. We will be advertising the survey shortly – so keep an eye out for this.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does Council currently have Community Plans?

Yes we do. These are:

There are also a number of other strategies which have had strong community input and need consideration (e.g. Thames Urban Design Strategy).

Why is Council reviewing its community plans?

The content of the existing community plans varies and many are "aspirational" in nature. Some were written many years ago, others are more recent – but it’s a good time to “check in” with our communities and change, add or confirm the existing plans. We want to get a good sense of the priorities for each community. Knowing what our community values will help your Community Board and Council make more informed decision-making around funding and prioritisation of services and activities.

Will we get rid of the current community plans?

Not entirely. We are identifying what has been completed, what hasn’t, and asking communities whether the priorities in these plans are still current.

What is the difference between community plans and the reserve management plans Council is consulting on?

Reserve Management Plans (and the way Council consults on these) are required by law. Having Community Plans is not a legal requirement. The Reserve Management Plans determine what sorts of activities can happen on our many parks and reserves. Our community plans can inform your elected members as to what our community thinks these activities should look like (e.g. is a new or revised playground a priority on one of our reserves?)

What is a community?

Communities are all about people. Communities are about having a common interest, living, working and playing together. A community is all about people having shared interests. Communities play an important role in every aspect of our lives. We have communities among our friends, our families, our employment and in our neighbourhoods, within sports teams we support, food we like and shared interests in general. Having a sense of community unites us. Being a part of a community can make people feel as though they are a part of something greater than themselves. It can give opportunities to connect with people, to reach goals, and provide a feeling of safety and security.

Who has been invited to the focus groups?

We aim to get a broad representation from across our communities. To do this we have invited people from a number of groups – with a maximum of two per organisation to ensure we gather diverse views.

What happens after the focus groups?

Feedback from the focus groups will be used to pull together a wider community survey. The survey will open in April 2019. Collated responses will be pulled together into a set of community plans for the district.

How do the community plans relate to other strategic planning documents?

The community plans will be considered by Council throughout its planning cycle so that it prioritises and actions things that are most important to our communities.

The Planning Cycle

Click to expand.

Are the community plans only about what Council can do?

The plans are about what a community can do itself (and advocate for), what Council can do in partnership with the community and other organisations, and what Council can do on our communities’ behalf.