Park works delay ‘frustrating’

Members of a group responsible for planning a $940,000 community park at Kyneton have criticised the length of time it’s taken Macedon Ranges council to start work.

Urging residents to sign an online petition, former Kyneton Community Park president Amy Cockroft said nothing had been done since funding was pledged in 2012 and plans drawn up early last year.

The project, to be built in Kyneton Botanic Gardens, was handed over to council late 2014.

“It’s just not good enough. People are frustrated,’’ Ms Cockroft said. “It was the last federal election that funding was secured.”

Ms Cockroft said the unexplained delay was “insulting” to all the work that had been done by the group.

“It was ready to go,’’ she said. “There’s been no communication, which is frustrating.”

The council last week said preliminary works, including the removal of 29 trees in advanced states of decline, were about to begin.

“We need to undertake these works to ensure the safety of park patrons,” council’s assets and operations director Dale Thornton said. “These works mark a new beginning for this site, which will be rejuvenated with additional trees and plantings, pathways, park features and interactive play elements for everyone to enjoy.”

A report to last week’s council meeting showed overall satisfaction with the council’s performance has slipped from 59 points last year to 55 in the latest community survey.

Community satisfaction dropped slightly, from 52 to 51. Scores for categories including advocacy, sealed roads and customer service remain close to average for large rural shires.

Council chief executive Peter Johnston said feedback was highly valued.

“While we are always striving for improvement, we are also conscious the implementation of rate capping at this time may have impacted on community perceptions and results,’’ he said.

Councillors also resolved to sell land in Aitken Street, Gisborne, to Aldi for use as a carpark, despite Cr Russell Mowatt’s efforts to have the block put up for public sale.

Aldi is preparing a permit application for a supermarket on an adjoining site.

SEE: Aldi proposal