Friday, June 8, 2012

Joint Township and City of Langley Parks, Environment, Cultural, and Recreation Committee Meeting

There are some people in Langley that believe that the Township and City of Langley should become one municipality; I’m not one of those people. As we already have a regional governance model that takes care of regional issues and services, it is good that we have a large collection of local governments that can represent the view of its citizen. That being said, the Township and City of Langley share a common history and there is still a sense that there is one overall Langley community. To forester that community, the Township and City sometimes host joint council committee meetings.

Members of Township and City of Langley Committees meeting at City of Langley Hall.

I sit on the City of Langley Parks and Environment Advisory Committee. We met with the City of Langley Recreation, Culture and Public Art Advisory Committee and Township of Langley Recreation, Culture, and Parks Advisory Committee last night to discuss issues that affect the Langley community.

One of the concerns I have is that municipalities work together when infrastructure like roads and trails cross municipal boundaries. I was happy to learn that the Township and City of Langley work together to make sure that their plans connect. One example is a trail system that will connect the new Mufford Overpass, Derek Doubleday Arboretum, Mcleod Athletic Park (jointly funded by the Township and City), and the City’s trails system. The City of Langley is also updating many of its master plans in the coming years and will be working to make sure that there are connections that fit with other municipalities.

One of the other issues of shared concern is the lack of arts space in Langley. It was noted that Langley is the only community its size in BC without any proper arts space. It is a bit of an embracement to be honest. Previous reports have said that Langley needs both an artist creation space as well as a performance arts space. At last night's meeting, there was discussion that maybe the City and Township would each peruse the creation of one type of space in order to work together and not duplicate services. The Township of Langley is currently working on a cultural mapping project to see what cultural amenities are already in Langley. Members of both the City and Township committees noted that while there is lots of sports amenities in Langley, art space is absent and sorely needed.

One of the interesting facts noted is that since the opening of the Langley Events Centre, our areas has become a hub for sports tourism which brings in millions of dollars into the community annually. For example the 2014 BC Seniors Games is estimated to have a $2.8 million impact in Langley.

One item talked about last night was a joint ban on smoking in City and Township parks. As our next City Parks and Environment Advisory Committee meeting, we will have a look at this proposal as the Township has already started along the process.

Last night was a great evening and it is good to see the Township and City working together on many issues that affect Langley.

1 comment:

T Ian McLeod said...

The District of Maple Ridge and the City of Pitt Meadows share their culture and recreation functions through an appointed citizen commission. This has facilitated the creation of a parks master plan with targets for the creation of new park space as well as the provision of community arts programs in various community spaces.