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TCB Meeting - 5 September

Annual Grants

If there is one issue that causes excitement around the table at this time of year, it is the annual allocation of Board Grants. Cr Hoadley is excepted from these comments due to her once again being absent from the meeting. These days her attendance seems to be restricted to workshops from which the public are excluded, and Judicial Committee hearings, for which she is paid an additional $90 an hour.

The Board decided on its grant allocations at a workshop - the previous Council avoided conflict of interest by leaving the allocations to a small sub-committee, and that worked well. Current members, on the contrary want to have all their fingers in the pie, and even wanted to change and add further allocations when the list decided on at a workshop on 16 August was returned to yesterday's meeting.

Cr Connors managed to get a further $5,000 allocated from the old TUGPRA standby for a skate park investigation. BM Baverstock moved to have two allocations reduced so as to get $1,000 for the rugby club grandstand.

At the same time, Rafferty's Rules concerning the Civic Centre hire once again came under pressure with an impassioned Public Forum statement by Thames Music Group spokesperson Maggy Gill on recent confusion surrounding a hire. The Board later gave Chair Strat Peters the authority to approve 'community' hires between now and October when new rules are to be considered. It is all very ad. hoc.

A few items of interest from the CEO Quarterly Report

Aquaculture  - With all the talk about fish farming off Wilson's Bay, one matter has gone under the radar - the oyster spat virus that has affected the industry at Coromandel as elsewhere, will "place a number of Coromandel jobs at risk".

Freedom Camping - Work is continuing on the Council's policy, but "staff have been continuing to talk to the Motor Caravan Association about whether they are prepared to manage identified freedom camping sites under a lease arrangement". This proposal of course has serious implications that were outlined in my post Freedom Camping (3) on 3 March, and must be subjected to serious consultation before being adopted.

Building control - Clearly there are major moves under way by Government to centralise building control into a regional or national system for the administration of building consents.

Insurance - Council has managed to avoid significant rate increases on its renewal program, which is a relief. Only its undeground assets are affectd by the post-Christchurch collapse of the Local Government (LAPP) scheme. This cover has now been re-instated to a level of 92% (inc. 60% Govt.), which is pretty remarkable.     




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