Cycleway (5)
Monday, March 21, 2011 at 3:18PM
Bill Barclay

The Cycleway was given an airing at today's CB meeting, with the CE and Mayor present, but not a lot of clarity resulted. Despite many attempts by the CB Chair Strat Peters to extract confirmation of the material contained in my Cycleway (4) post, about the Kauaeranga crossing, answers were not forth coming. The CE acknowledged that both this and the financial shortfalls were a problem, but the Totara Terminus idea was never specifically denied. Strat was adamant that the route could only prosper if it terminated in town. 

Strat also drew attention to the Local v.  District aspect of the funding arrangements, and Board Member French expressed himself mightily disappointed if this was not to be regarded as a District project - that is yet to play out, and the Mayor warned that the project was far from home and hosed with probably up to two thirds of the submissions likely to oppose it. He indicated that he had refused a seat on the 'Steering Committee' because of the perception of bias.

A decision, apparently taken behind a closed door Workshop to make $100,000 available for the project from the Thames Retained Earnings Account as a sweetener should other CB's and Councillors demur was then revealed, amongst considerable embarrassment. 

The REA is taking a hiding as I predicted - that is clear. More important, it is again indicative of what takes place behind closed doors despite the frequent and indignant denials of decisions being taken in this manner - principally by our Mayor, loudly supported by Councillor Hoadley.

Councillor Hoadley incidentally did an about turn on the Cycleway today from her earlier expressed concerns at the 2 March Council meeting as to "how old people could afford the cost". She expressed her total support for the project today and excoriated opposition as "small town".

That should swing the balance without the need for a Mayoral casting vote, just as long as Cr. Hoadley sticks to her current guns.




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