One Voice Newsletter Jan ’24

Hello Community Member 

One Voice are keen to update with action and information to date with regards to the Ward 7 Community Facility Review dated Sep 23: 

  • The first action was to submit a petition to halt the Ward 7 Facility Review, but this was rejected due to being within 6 months of committee decision. The petition quickly received over 300 signatures
  • The FOI request was submitted to SLC and details of running costs of all 3 facilities was received 
  • The resident compliant was acknowledged – no further information to date 
  • The information received from all groups who use the facilities has been consolidated to support the retention of Westwood Facilities 

Although the petition was rejected, One Voice requested to meet with the SLC Head of Property Services (Ms Joanne Forbes). At this meeting the voice of Westwood Community was presented with regards to the impact of the review in the present and future. Ms Forbes acknowledged all points raised and the community concerns.  

Ms Forbes emphasised that their department like other SLC areas is subject to budget constraints,   hence the review. They did, however, confirm no decision have been made and the review is a fact finding exercise. The object of the review is to present SLC officials with researched recommendations  and options for future facility management. 

Ms Forbes noted the desire to make the best use of finances, in that, the facilities that provide the best opportunities and are structurally sound were favoured in the review. Also that alternative solutions were being scoped. 

Ms Forbes also noted the desire to support the community and the groups that utilised the facilities. They identified having One Voice as the primary point of contact for the community and this will facilitate an easier and faster exchange of information. 

It must be noted that it is unlikely that all the facilities will be able to be retained within the SLC portfolio but with the support of the community this should ensure the outcome that supports the best interests of the community and groups. 

Ms Forbes noted that all Ward 7 Facilities require expenditure to make them compliant with current legislation. 

Dunedin Park Pavilion.

Sports club still remain interested to undertake a Community Asset Transfer. They are having ongoing discussions with Mr Iain Mulholland, SLC Community Asset Transfer Officer, to progress this option. 

The Westwood Hall. 

Remains a viable facility but does require upgraded e.g. structure, bathroom facilities etc. The income from current documented usage does not meet the expenditure, however, discussion with Ms Forbes suggested that increasing usage by groups relocated from other facilities could go some way towards offsetting that. This could be supported by SLC transporting relocated groups. At this time 2 new groups are already interested in using this Hall.

The Red Deer Centre.

From the information available the centre is the facility requiring the most significant  expenditure to meet legislative requirements and therefore the most at risk.  The Red Deer Bowling Club are in discussion with SLC regarding retention of the bowling green. 

Community Asset Transfer remains an option for both Red Deer Centre and Westwood Hall. In respect of Westwood Hall there is an indication that at least 2 organisations who would be prepared to partner with a management group to run the facility for the benefit of the community. The preferred option, however, does remains for all facilities to be manage by SLC.

SLC have issued a Budget Consultation so please access and have your say here.

So what do we need to do now. A questionnaire will be released shorty for you to answer to further inform the One Voice Group to further inform the review. The with One Voice and Ms Forbes is on 5 Jan 24. 

If you wish to contact the One Voice Committee please use the contact form below. Thank you!

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