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 |  Helen Vivian  | 
So I read in The Informer that Long Term Plan (LTP) submissions are invited. Councils and government departments probably rely on most people not making a submission. To oppose something or question a priority can be in the scary, too hard basket.  It’s actually simple for anybody to have their say by making a submission opposing or supporting all or part of a proposal, such as the TCDC’s Long Term Plan or any Resource Consent application.

Sometimes a submission form is provided or groups opposing a proposal often do a template form for members to fill out.

Otherwise you can write or type up your own to be emailed or posted to the proposers (eg TCDC) by a deadline. The current deadline for TCDC is Monday, 8 April. (No one’s going to check your spelling or mark it!)

The important points to include:

1. Start with a heading giving the reference number or description of the proposal (eg Long Term Plan 2024 -Rates or Storm water).

2. Give your name and contact details.

State whether you are submitting in support or opposition to all or part of it.

3. Clearly state the basic reasons why you are opposing or supporting it and why. Ideally one paragraph for each reason. (You don’t have to cover everything – just the points you want to make).

If relevant, you should mention how you personally might be affected by what’s being proposed. It’s important to stay on topic and be as brief as you can.  One page is good but four pages maximum.

4. It’s good to at least touch on all your arguments because you can’t bring in fresh points later if for instance it goes to a hearing.

5. You should say what you would like to see done instead of what’s being proposed.  You don’t have to cover everything in great detail – just the points you’re making.

6. You’ll be asked if you want to speak in support of your submission at a hearing.

Say yes. This makes the Council realise you’re serious about what you say.

You can always pull out later and it’s actually no big deal – you can just read out your arguments.

7. Sign it, date it and send it – and get your mates to do the same if they feel the same way.  Let them know they can copy your words.

There’s no point in being upset at what Council does or doesn’t do if you don’t at least try to make them hear your point of view. Give it to them, loud and clear!

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