Wellington City Council would like your views on the draft Long Term Plan 2012-22.┬áThe draft plan sets out what the Council is proposing to do over the next ten years.┬áPublic consultation on the Wellington City Council Draft Long Term Plan runs from the 16th April to 18th May 2012. This is your chance to have a say – your support will make all the difference.

There are a whole bunch of things involved in the long term plan that the Wellingtonista collectively and individually have opinions on. Hopefully there will be more posts about those soon. But today I’d like to talk to you about an issue that’s super close to my heart*: getting the Wellington SPCA into a new building so that they can continue to provide an amazing service for the community.

If you’ve been to the Newtown centre, you’ll know that while it is full of adorable animals and really dedicated people, it is also crazy cramped, old and falling-downy. The small space means that it’s that much harder to have proper isolation spaces to prevent diseases from spreading, and there’s no room for new initiatives. It’s also down a really long pot-holed driveway, and there’s very little parking around.

Meanwhile, the old Fever Hospital up in Mount Victoria is sitting empty apart from vandals. Here’s the situation in the words of Wellington SPCA:

The Fever Hospital on Alexandra Road (also known as the Old Chest Hospital and owned by Wellington City Council), a historically-rich Heritage building in the heart of Wellington, remains the preferred destination for us. The Council have stated that we are the preferred tenant and have voiced a desire to see us in the building as soon as possible.

The Fever Hospital site will provide a heritage home for a heritage community organisation. It will convert a disused human hospital to an animal one with an educational focus. Located in the centre of the capital it places us where we need to be; at the heart of the community.

Wellington City Council have existing obligations to complete a large amount of capital works on the building before we can commence our own construction work, and ongoing maintenance once the building is tenanted.

Unfortunately the Council has decided it does not have the funds available to complete this work, nor is there funding budgeted for the next 10 years.

Obviously, the council has to think carefully about where it spends its money, but Wellington SPCA, which does vital work but receives no direct** government funding, is absolutely deserving. For more information and/or to sign a petition, check out the Rehome the SPCA site.

* Full disclosure: I worked for the Wellington SPCA for a couple of months last year, and I continue to foster cats for them.

** Animal inspectors are trained by MAF, but that’s it.