Voting opens next Thursday to fill the vacant seat on the Cromwell Community Board left by Robin Dicey’s resignation. The News asked candidates David George and Bob Scott (Independent) some key questions to help you make your decision.

The questions:

1. Why are you standing for the Cromwell Community Board?
2. What is your vision for the Cromwell ward?
3. What should the council do to encourage sustainable growth in Cromwell and surrounds?
4. What are your top three priorities for the Cromwell ward?

David George

Cromwell Community Board candidate David George

1. I would like to see the submissions to the 10-year plan implemented, and the $73 million allocated to Cromwell spent wisely, with maximum participation from the community.

I was born and bred here, went through the Clyde Dam era and trained as a community worker so had a hand in rebuilding our community when the Clyde Dam went into recession, so I feel it is important to keep furthering that with a focus on the Memorial Hall.

2. A place to call home — for residents and for visitors.
It’s about instilling a sense of community for everybody.

3. The new cycle trail network is a great example.  Bringing wealth into the valley in a sustainable way.  I believe that the private sector should lead the charge.

4. The Memorial Hall, more common sense around the mall, and a good look at the sports centre.  Population has expanded faster that we possibly realised and now some of our resources are stretched in some areas and we need to expand.
I don’t think we need to sell the golf course, I think that’s a given.
We should retain that area.

Bob Scott (Independent)

Cromwell Community Board candidate Bob Scott

1. I am standing for election to the Cromwell Community Board because I believe that the board needs to continue to bring in new energetic members to take the community forward in what will inevitably be an exciting time.
Now that funds have been allocated, I want to help make sure that they are spent wisely and for the real benefit of our community.

2. I want to make sure that planned growth in the Cromwell ward is managed so that the aspirations of everyone in the community can be fulfilled.
Whether that be in the fields of sport, recreation, culture, employment or affordable housing, we must strive to achieve this for the benefit of future generations.  I also want to ensure that we maintain the wonderful attractions of the area so that visitors continue to come here and enjoy the environment that we have to offer.

3. Already Cromwell is in danger of becoming a dormitory town for Queenstown.
We should do our very best to encourage growth in local businesses.  Improve the range of retail outlets in a revamped town centre mall and encourage local service providers to employ local people.  We need to ensure that young families are able to find the right homes so that they can live in the town and enjoy the benefits of living in such a special place.

4. My three priorities for the Cromwell community would be:
The speedy replacement of the memorial hall with a purpose built cultural and arts centre.
This to be built by the council working in conjunction with the Cromwell Cultural Centre Trust to provide a multipurpose facility of sufficient size and flexibility to meet the needs of all local groups.  The centre should also contain the museum and retain its original function as a memorial hall.

Urgent attention to the town centre mall, which is outdated and no longer fit for purpose.
The revamp to include demolition of some buildings to enable the centre of the mall to be opened up as a piazza area and would also have the benefit of considerably increasing the amount of parking available.  The library and council service centre buildings to be repurposed and a new building to house these built on a new site nearby.

All new developments should be made to contain the ‘‘greenways’’ which define  Cromwell. We should also fight to retain the existing ‘‘greenways’’ in the town and certainly the Cromwell Golf Club, a wonderful asset, which is currently earmarked for housing development in the future.