Planning Consultant Standing For Nelson Council

( The first new candidate to put their name forward for election to Nelson City Council is one of the region’s most experienced planning consultants, Hugh Briggs, who announced his intention today (Friday).

Hugh is no stranger to Council, having worked in and for councils, including NCC, for more than 35 years. He will bring a high level of professionalism to Council’s policy and decision-making processes.

“I know what it’s like to try and work within the constraints of Council as a staff member and I also know what its like to be a ratepayer trying to work through those Council processes. Both can be frustrating, but that insight is hugely valuable in finding solutions that best meet everyone’s needs around the Council table.”

Hugh is quick to point out that he’s “not just a policy person”.

“I’m passionate about the entire Nelson region and want to see it thrive. I believe I will bring a valuable range of skills and experience to Council that will help achieve that vision.”

Hugh has been actively involved in making submissions on Council’s Annual Plan, LTCCP and various other Planning Studies for the Chamber of Commerce and as a concerned professional.

He is a member of Rotary and Nelson-Tasman Chamber of Commerce and has been on the Safer Community Council. He is a member of several of the Chamber’s focus groups and is involved in the front line of the tourism industry as a B&B owner.

Hugh’s wide community involvement and substantial professional experience will enable him to make a significant contribution to Nelson City Council over a wide range of issues.

His key priorities are:

• Urgent need for one overall “Vision” or strategy for city and region that will:
– integrate all different strategies and studies
– create an overall development (growth management) plan

• Immediate decision needed on the proposed conference centre:
– we need a large conference centre to grow the off-season business in the city
– it needs to be developed independently from a performing arts centre but in a strategic location where the two can be integrated if required
– the ideal location is in Rutherford Park

• Rational decision on transport (not just roading) strategy:
– develop one regional strategy and one regional committee
– change the mindset of planning just for peak hours
– limit physical changes of proposed road upgrades

• Better policy and decision making process:
– establish priorities for key Council functions
– create more cost-effective solutions to limit rate increases
– develop a city strategy as framework for decision-making
– set up more joint staff-Councillor committees to develop overall strategy and policies

• Better regional governance with closer integration with Tasman District, treating the two areas as one region:
– work towards one Regional and District Plan
– develop Regional Development and Transport Strategy

Media Release 22 July 2010.