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TCB Meeting 4 December 2012

The meeting last Wednesday was a considerable improvement on the previous, but it  remains incredibly drawn out for no apparent reason other than the inability of Strat to get to the decision. Discussion meanders, and it really needs someone to move the motion – only one speech from each councillor is permitted after the move and second – that is why every good chair seeks it as soon as possible, without stifling discussion.

Thames Airfield came under close examination and Cr Connors was able to show her mettle (not for the first time) by asking the hard questions regarding just why we are still subsidising it to the tune of $45,000 a year, and demanded to know “where is the budget?”

Greg Hammond pleaded ignorance on all scores – he having only recently taken over what is obviously a real headache. The User Group is only too happy to let the situation continue as it is – there are restrictions on use of the runway, but not too onerous. What they oppose is anything that may cost them real money. Even to the extent of avoiding paying their landing fees which appear to be a voluntary ‘pay if you are able’ system - $300 in the ‘voluntary’ box for three months – what a joke!

But Cr Connors wants answers, and Greg better get his spikes on. Strat raised the question about the Geoff Furkett proposal. I could have told him that it died ’ as soon as the Board heard that his condition was that Council upgrade the water, runway, sewerage etc. before he would have a bar of it. And the Users Group was highly ambivalent about his involvement if was to result in increased charges.

Skywork have submitted a plan for some layout changes associated with their proposed takeover of the Ta-Nui Holdings hanger and buildings that they are now up-grading after discussion with the User Group.

This facility does have potential, but the User Group have to start thinking about how the place can pay for itself. Rate-payers of this town must be getting heartily sick of the entitlement atmosphere that surrounds the need to continue subsidising the facility.

Thames Focus Group continues on its merry way as the de facto “Community Board’ – even their minutes contain a Resolution Moved by Skelding/Simpson that called for the Area Manager Thames “to allocate the $45,000 from 2012/13 plus the $13,000 carried over form 2011/12 for the project scope and potential completion of the Community Asset Mapping”. So why do we need an elected Board?

This little faux pas was corrected poste haste with a certain amount of embarrassment, but the damage had been done. The money will go on a bunch of consultants – Cranleigh, and Moller – most probably on the ‘feel-good’ games day (Charette!) at the Civic Centre on 10 November. Strat is still claiming that this is greatest move in this town since JC was boy. Oh well – I can only tell it as I see it, and that ain’t great! Don’t hold your breadth for the Asset Mapping Tool – it seems as far away as ever, despite assurances provided (verbally!) by Wintec.

Fluoride I have dealt with elsewhere – the wording of the brochure exercised the mind of Cr Connor in particular – she of course has a conflict of interest having stated her position against fluoride on a number of occasions. It will be interesting to see whether she takes part in the deliberations. She managed to get her way on most her concerns about the brochure – she is certainly pushing this one. They will be coming out over the next week or so, and the hearings have been set down for 21 and 24 January with deliberations on 25 January.



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Reader Comments (1)

The push by activists to have the Fluoride debate out in the open has been a triumph for the sense of democracy. The form for returning is fair in that it presents both sides' views as background. Well-done TCBd. and staff compilers. Now it only needs citizens/ratepayers to participate and thus give justification for the action that elected members will decide. The Xmas break should not be a problem given that This ward is mostly permanent residents. Good-on the public experts that put two reasoned letters in the two local newspapers in support of fluoridation.

December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter H Wood,

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