This is a letter from Co-Chairs of our new Board – Irene King from Floral Studio and Jacob Faull from Nature Baby – an update on what is happening amidst all the trenches and orange cones in our community. Your membership is more important than ever to support us.
15 December 2017
Why membership of the Grey Lynn Business Association has become critical?
It is hard to recall when our small patch of Auckland has become such a microcosm of dissent and protest but probably some of you can recall such a time.
How did this happen?
in part because we do not have the resources, structure and influence of the likes of Ponsonby Road, Parnell and Newmarket business districts. In part it is because we have a Council controlled CCO with a lot of money to spend and some urgency to spend it and in part because Grey Lynn was perceived as a place of gentrification.
I think we have all woken up to a very rude lesson in terms of what can go very wrong when Council officers and community do not have a share vision of what our joint futures should look like. Council will claim that it consulted extensively on the developments of cycle ways Route One(Surrey-Old Mill- Garnet and beyond) and Route Two (Richmond Road through the village).
However just recently I heard about the most sensible explanation of what had happened and why we now have a very difficult situation being confronted by many businesses. As this person observed there was a vision of a safe shared pedestrian, cyclist, car space then one of the Council agencies thought it a good idea to consider bus stops, another parking, another essential remedial work and another vehicle calming strategies – all this came together in a mix of good bad and ugly with little consideration of the community, its ambiance and its vibrancy.
What we have now is a right pickle and a big challenge of sorting this out to the satisfaction of the majority. The impact on businesses has been serious but the good thing is that some are reporting an almost return to normal trading. Others remain in a very serious and challenging situation the impact of which may not become clear until the end of the financial year
Where is the Grey Lynn Business Association at?
We have recognition by the Council, the Waitemata Board and finally AT itself that Businesses must be involved in substantive change. As a united voice we are more influential than our single voices on our own. GLBA represents that single voice.
However equally if we are not proactive and constructive in our consideration of matters we will be ignored. Of all the business districts within the Waitemata Board we are the one thatis the smallest and least well-funded. You could be forgiven for thinking that in some way we have been the test bed for AT’s various planning experiments. We think everyone has learnt and will continue to learn a lot from our most recent experiences.
Where are we going?
We need to be highly organised and work constructively with the Council. Constructive includes clearly articulating our concerns. It includes questioning. It includes asking the tough questions and when we are not getting the answers it includes challenging.
We have a vision based around Totally Locally Grey Lynn and within that overall brand four distinct quarters:
- The Grey Lynn Quarter
- The West Lynn quarter
- The Arch Hill Quarter
- The Lower Richmond Road Quarter.
Each area will have its own distinct characteristics based around the values of the Grey Lynn community. As part of the work to restore customer confidence in the Grey Lynn shopping prescient the Council has agreed that it will support a re-branding of the whole area
How are we going to get there ?
We are already on the way with a Board that represents three of the four quarters. Each Board member is tasked with engaging with the businesses in their quarter and getting understanding that either we constructively work together or we face a well-resourced Council who steam will roll us into solutions which don’t suit our needs.
We will only get there if we can:
- Work co-operatively together
- Represent our interest knowing we have the strength of the vast majority of businesses members of the Association
- Strong advocates for business and the Grey Lynn community
- Unified in advocating our views
What else is going on?
Compensation for the cycle way disruption AT have been clear that each claim from business can only progress separately and only one claim for the disruption can be made.
We are fortunate that we have members who are undertaking a higher level dialogue to see whether there is any scope for consideration of an interim payment. I wouldn’t hold your breath but it does seem on its face that a case can be made for an interim payment now that the construction of the cycleways is likely to be over a longer period than first anticipated.
Cycle Way One – this is being reconsulted. In the meantime remedial work is progressing to ensure safety – refer attached link. The disruption caused by the cycle way is likely to be far longer duration than first thought. A reference group is yet to be established. Meetings of the reference group will be formally facilitated and under independent control.
Cycle Way Two – an interim reference group has been established to undertake the identified urgent remedial work necessary in the village. A formal reference group will be established in the New Year to work through a number of the design development improvements
A whole series of remedial work is underway and these are outlined in the attachment (Insert link here to attached email)
Residents Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ)
After writing to the Council group responsible for the proposed RPZ we have managed to persuade them that it would be unwise if they ignored the views of business particularly businesses on the side of the zone who may not even be aware of the changes. (see here for proposed Remedial work)
Accordingly, we will be conducting a survey in the week commencing 15 January with a view to presenting the results at the end of January. We are confident our collective views will be taken into consideration so please participate.
West Lynn Village Party – celebrating 30 years of Harvest and 20 years of Nature Baby.
This event is likely to take place in late March. We started 2017 on a high note with our Village Party in Grey Lynn and look forward to 2018 with a whole new set of challenges.
However, one thing is very clear unless we are a united and strong voice of businesses in our community we will be dealt too again. As a Board we can do so much but it is really incumbent on every business to join, participate and advocate for a future which sees the values of Grey Lynn promoted by our own business association.
To each of you and your families a very merry Christmas and for those of you who do not belong to our Association a New Year’s resolution to join would be very welcome and for those of you considering renewal it is only through strength will be succeed and built the type of Grey Lynn we can all feel very proud of.
Irene King Jacob Faull
Joint Co-Chair Joint Co-Chair
Grey Lynn Business Association Grey Lynn Business Association