Final submissions tally tops record

Last-minute submissions advocating an extension to the Signal Hill car park have helped push the number of submissions on Dunedin City Council's draft budgets to a record high.

However, no one subject appears to be dominating submitters' minds.

Council policy analyst Jane Neville said 1020 submissions from the public on the council's draft annual and long-term plans were received by the 5pm Tuesday deadline.

The previous biggest response to the draft annual plan was 985 submissions in 2003.

Of those who made submissions this year, 130 people had indicated they would like to present their submission in person to the council.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said while there were marginally more submissions this year than last year's 953, they did not appear to be dominated by any one issue.

Last year, about 500 submissions were received on John Wilson Ocean Dr.

This year one of the most popular topics, with several hundred submissions, appeared to be from people seeking an extension to the Signal Hill car park to cope with increasing mountain bike track activity in the area, he said.

Other issues people wanted to talk to the council about included widening and cycling issues in Portobello Rd, provisions for cyclists throughout the city, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery's acquisitions budget, the city's libraries, the Forsyth Barr Stadium and the ORFU bail-out, but those submissions numbered in the dozens on each topic, rather than the hundreds.

The submissions process was a chance for people to influence council decisions, although budgets were already largely worked through in the draft which "really is the council's best shot at it", Mr Cull said.

"But if a whole lot of people came out and said 'Hey, this is wrong', we would listen to them."

Councillors will hear from those who choose to speak to their submissions at public hearings from May 9-11, followed by deliberations from May 15-17.


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