- March 28, 2011
- Posted by: Gail Giles-Gidney
- Category: Update
In late February, I successfully proposed a motion to Council seeking a report on plans for the future maintenance and refurbishment of the very popular Northbridge Plaza car park and the Early Childhood Centre, with a further report on Council’s views on the potential viability for development of a Seniors Living facility on the site.
While most will appreciate that the car park provides vital access and much convenience to the Centre, not many local residents or visitors know that the site is actually Willoughby Council property. Most will know that today’s car park surface is in shocking a state of disrepair and the ECC is in dire need of an upgrade.
Council has allocated approximately $40K for the next financial year for car park maintenance and additional funds are under consideration for the ECC. However, specifically what is planned and for when, remains uncertain. Conversely, as it stands, and despite being a major beneficiary of its use, the Plaza owners and Operators are not obliged to make any contribution to the maintenance or upkeep of the car park.
The requested report on the issues will provide our community with relevant information to guide any future decisions on best use and maintenance of the site.
Regrettably, not all agree. The spectre of the withdrawn 2007/8 master planning process remains vivid in the minds of some, who sought a rescission of the motion two weeks later. Following enthusiastic debate, Council re-endorsed the request for an update on the site, maintenance of the current facilities and potential for improvements to this valuable community resource. A report is expected to be available by the end of the financial year.
It’s now even more clear to me than ever that as a Councillor, you cannot please all of the people all of the time. However, I’m greatly encouraged that your Council as a whole has the fortitude to seek to address these difficult issues.