with Zane Jensen
Sport BOP Regional Facilities Advisor
The Long-Term Plan (LTP) is a document that every council produces to set the direction, budgets and plans for the next 10 years.
Every three years councils review their LTPs, to ensure the document is relevant and they are on track towards their vision, while also meeting the current needs of the community.
This review process is always completed after consultation with the community and is an opportunity for your sport club or organisation to provide feedback on current and future services.
Councils play a vital role in the community sport space and invest accordingly in facilities, infrastructure and operational maintenance, as they understand how sport affects our lives in a positive way and results in active, healthy, happy communities.
Following consultation, council staff will produce a draft document, which then goes to the Councillors and Mayors to approve. Once this happens, the draft LTP is released to the public and you will be able to see the proposed plans for your area for the next 10 years.
As you can imagine, the LTP document is not a small one – it includes all areas of the region that councils work in, not just sport, so it may take time to find the sections relevant to you.
If you agree or disagree with any of the proposed plans and would like to make comment, there will be information on how to make your submission via your respective council's website.
The consultation period for each council is different, so if you want to make a submission, it pays to check your council's website for full details. For most councils in the Bay of Plenty, this is happening between March and May, but you can find the exact dates online to ensure you can plan accordingly.
As you can imagine, councils receive a great number of submissions, and while these all get read it pays to stand out from the crowd. Keep your message clear (what do you want? How do you want council to help? etc), present the facts and focus on the key details relevant to your request – and don't work on producing a novel.
Your council needs your feedback, to ensure they are meeting the community's need and continuing to provide sporting infrastructure for the years to come, so it is important that your views are heard.