Will Ali Jones stand down over community centre funding?

WAITING: The location for the new Shirley Community Centre will be at the same site at 10 Shirley Rd. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN

Ali Jones won’t be walking away from local body politics – for now at least.

Last year, the Papanui-Innes Community Board chairwoman threatened to leave the board if a budget for the rebuild of a Shirley community facility was not included in the city council’s Long Term Plan.

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In the LTP, funding has been allocated to urgently complete a ‘network plan’ for community facilities, so potential facility ideas can be considered within a city-wide context.

In the mayor’s recommendations, Lianne Dalziel said the city council will request staff complete the plan as soon as practical, and approved $170,000 for it in order to inform next year’s and future annual plans.

“Potential developments include, but are not limited to, the Shirley community centre, a multicultural centre, a centre for Avondale, Burwood, Dallington area and an Okains Bay community centre,” said Ms Dalziel.

Ms Jones considered this a commitment, and said she will not be standing down from the board at this stage.

“I’m not covering my butt here. If I felt that there wasn’t any commitment to this community facility on Shirley Rd, then I would stand by what I said. But, at the moment, I see that as a commitment.”

However, Ms Jones said she could still resign if no progress is made. “It’s still open, if we don’t see the progress on this site . . . I will stand by my position,” she said.

Ms Jones said it is important to note the LTP makes reference to the Annual Plan next year.

“That opens up another process for us to actually debate, argue, fight for more money for this particular centre once we have assessed what the community needs and wants.”

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