Vancouver Park Board approves direction for new community partnership agreement
February 5 2013
“Going forward, our goal is to ensure recreation programs benefit people across the city. We are committed to working with the associations to advocate for their communities and support the wonderful neighborhoods that make Vancouver so diverse.”
The Park Board last night approved the framework for a new partnership agreement with Vancouver’s 20 community centre associations to deliver recreation services and programs.
At a Special Meeting Monday night, the Board provided clear direction to develop a modern partnership agreement that maintains the strengths of the current model while providing greater equity and access across the city, improves risk management, and enhances flexibility and responsiveness of decision making across the network of facilities.
The Board endorsed four principles as the foundation of the future framework:
Access for all citizens
Equity among community centres
Access to a network of centres
Operational sustainability and accountability
Under an updated partnership agreement, all local programs and services now being delivered at community centres will continue, uninterrupted.
The Board directed staff to continue facilitated negotiations with all willing community centre associations with particular focus on how the new funding model would be developed and implemented, with a target for the transition effective July 1, 2013. Community centre associations will be asked to create a plan for investment of the $13 million in retained earnings within the network which will remain with them.
A city-wide consultation will be initiated in coming months with the associations to share the new framework with residents, receive their input on priorities for moving forward, and discuss opportunities for the allocation of a new $1 million annual fund available starting in 2013 to address infrastructure inequities.
Park Board Chair Sarah Blyth said: “Community centre associations provide a vital connection to the needs and priorities of residents. For decades, they have ensured citizen participation and engagement through their volunteer service. Going forward, our goal is to ensure recreation programs benefit people across the city. We are committed to working with the associations to advocate for their communities and support the wonderful neighborhoods that make Vancouver so diverse.”