A survey into the future of Stoke has revealed that its residents love living there but they want it to become a more vibrant community, not just “a place to use the supermarket and then get out of there”.
Nelson City Council briefed residents of feedback from the recent “Spotlight on Stoke” consultation last Thursday, which focused on submissions for a new community centre. But the results proved there are plenty of other things that could be done to liven up the suburb.
With 17,154 people living there, Stoke is Nelson’s second largest suburb in terms of population, and the latest Census shows it’s the fastest growing one as well. But those same statistics show that nearly half of the region’s over 65 year olds live there.
Included in the 850 submissions was a need for a larger variety of shops in Stoke, and more cafes and bars that open later too.
“I hate it that I have to go elsewhere for shopping and entertainment needs as there is nothing here,” said a resident.
Another, who admits they leave Stoke to get a decent cup of coffee, wanted a “vibrant, buzzing” community with plenty of things to do.
The residents’ wish list was split into sections, under titles such as youth needs, retail, events, transport and facilities.
There was plenty of support for a community centre at Greenmeadows — which council has already allocated funds for — with one submitter demanding a “vibrant community centre like Victory Community Centre”.
One youth said Stoke wasn’t a destination for teenagers; they tended to stay home or go to town to hang out instead. “Stoke needs more recreational facilities for young people that are created and designed by young people.”
In general, the feedback suggested Stoke is looking tired. But Nelson mayor Rachel Reese says the council is definitely listening.
“The participation and enthusiasm from the people of Stoke in this initial information gathering phase has been fantastic. The quality and consistency of feedback received has given the council clear direction.”
What do you think Stoke needs? Is it fine the way it is? To have your say simply text us on 027 UR VOICE or email [email protected]