Road Stopping Subcommittee
Confirmed minutes of an ordinary meeting of the Road Stopping Subcommittee held in the Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers, The Octagon, Dunedin on Friday 17 June 2016, commencing at 11.00 am
Cr Kate Wilson
Cr Doug Hall
Cr Mike Lord
Richard Saunders (Group Manager Parks and Recreation), Karilyn Canton (In-House Legal Counsel) and Michael Tannock (Transport Network Team Leader)
Governance Support Officer Pam Jordan
There were no apologies.
The Chairperson advised that she understood that the submitters had not had an opportunity to discuss the matter informally together and offered to adjourn the meeting to allow this to happen.
Adjournment of meeting
That the Subcommittee
Adjourns the meeting to allow the submitters to try to reach agreement informally.
The meeting adjourned from 11.05 am to 11.20 am.
The Chairperson then explained the process to be followed for the hearing.
2 Confirmation of agenda
That the Subcommittee:
Confirms the agenda without addition or alteration.
There were no declarations of interest made or conflicts of interest declared.
The Chairperson here asked the In-House Legal Counsel to comment on the purpose of the hearing. She explained that the Subcommittee could recommend to the Council to stop the road on a temporary basis under s342 of the Local Government Act 1974 in accordance with the conditions set out in Schedule 10 of the Act. The Council had the ability to close the road temporarily for events such as this, however a key consideration was whether the closure would impede traffic unreasonably.
A report from Transport advised that the combined hospitality businesses had applied to close the lower Octagon on the weekend of the All Blacks vs Wales Rugby Test. The proposed closure was from 6.00 am on Friday 24 June 2016 until 11.00 am on Sunday 26 June 2016.
The report sought a recommendation on the proposed temporary closure from the Road Stopping Subcommittee. The proposed closure was publicly notified. Five submissions were received with four in support and one objecting to the proposal. The New Zealand Police were consulted and were in support of the proposal in the interests of public safety. Following a review of all submissions, staff recommended closing the road in accordance with the application
The following submitters were in attendance to speak either in support or opposing:
· Claire Grenfell (on behalf of The Craic)
· Richard Newcombe (on behalf of Stuart Street Mac's Brew Bar and Di Lusso Bar)
· Sarah Anderson (on behalf of the Regent Theatre)
Presentation of the Officer's Report
The Transport Network Team Leader (Michael Tannock) spoke to his report and advised that five submissions had been received with one objection to the proposed temporary road closure and four submissions in support. He commented that the New Zealand Police had been consulted and were in support of the proposal in the interests of public safety. Mr Tannock advised that it was staff's recommendation that the temporary road closure be approved as per the application.
The Craic (Claire Grenfell)
Ms Grenfell reported that all the hospitality businesses had worked together to put processes in place to make the weekend safe and successful. She advised that they wanted a road closure in place so that both the City and businesses would benefit and to provide a safe environment for thousands of visitors. She noted that the test was made public in July 2015 and there may be a need to work on communication. A professional plan was being put in place for closure and the group was looking to run a successful event.
Ms Grenfell responded to questions from the Subcommittee on security, the area the premises extended to and the takings for events such as this.
Stuart Street Mac's Brew Bar and Di Lusso Bar (Richard Newcombe)
Mr Newcombe expressed support for the points made by Ms Grenfell and tabled a submission supporting the proposed temporary road closure. He considered that it was important for the hospitality sector and for the city. A lot of people would come in to the city for the test. The local hospitality businesses did a good job each time and feedback was good. He commented on security measures in place.
In answer to a question Mr Newcombe noted that there was generally less trouble on test nights because an older crowd was attracted.
The Regent Theatre (Sarah Anderson and Alison Cunningham)
Ms Anderson advised that in the past when there had been international events other sites had been used eg Tent City. She noted that regardless of whether the Regent knew about the test, it was providing an alternative entertainment for people who did not want to go to the test.
Alison Cunningham, Chair, Regent Theatre Trust of Otago had no objection what the businesses were proposing but noted that there was no process to follow to have the necessary discussions before the road closure process was underway.
Ms Anderson commented that the Regent did not want to be fighting or competing with its neighbours and the objection was about how events were managed and communication. She suggested prior discussions with stakeholders and Police to sit down and jointly identify issues.
New Zealand Police (Acting Sergeant Chris Lemon)
Acting Sergeant Lemon advised that Police were supportive of the proposed road closure, which he considered was essential to help maintain public order as it would be a busy night. Safety issues had been addressed by the proposal. If the road was not closed measures would have to be put in place to deal with large numbers of people.
In answer to questions he advised that there was generally a better feel to events such as this compared to other Saturday nights and with road closures in place and extra staff, it should be safer.
The Group Manager Parks and Recreation suggested discussions at Council level regarding how to approach major events, as a conflict of traffic and pedestrians in the Octagon was not palatable to anyone
Consideration of Temporary Road Closure Application
The Subcommittee gave consideration to the Transport Network Team Leader's recommendation and to the points raised by the submitters.
There was discussion on matters to be considered and it was noted that the application met the criteria of the legislation ie it was an event and did not impede traffic unreasonably. The Transport Network Team Leader provided an explanation of where drop-off areas and mobility parks would be relocated.
There was further discussion on inconvenience, the defining of and fencing off of licensed premises, and areas available for pedestrians. It was considered that closing the road would provide the safest environment for both Regent Theatre users and the general public and safety would be improved by the road closure. It was also noted that the Regent Theatre opposed the process rather than the closure itself.
That the Subcommittee:
a) Notes the objection.
b) Recommends the Council approves, pursuant to section 342(1)(b) and clause 11(e) of schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 1974 the temporary closure of:
• The lower Octagon, from George Street, to Stuart Street and the lower Octagon from Stuart Street to Princes Street
• Stuart Street from Bath Street to the Lower Octagon
• Stuart Street from Moray Place to Bath Street (closed Octagon bound direction only);
from 6.00 am Friday 24 June 2016 until 11.00 am Sunday 26 June 2016.
c) Recommends that the Council investigates options at an early opportunity for facilitating use of public space for major events.
The meeting concluded at 12.01 pm.