Bowling Club Green Purchase - $400,000 + $200,000
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 5:00PM
Bill Barclay

On 28 November 2011, the Thames Community Board approved the purchase of the green directly opposite the Council for $400,000 for a carpark. This was kept secret for 'commercial' reasons. 

On 14 December 20 2011, Council confirmed the purchase, and staff proceeded according. The matter remained secret for 'commercial' reasons. 

on 27 March 2012 (yes folks - it is that long since our well paid Community Board has met - 4 months - they are supposed to meet every six weeks) the matter was again raised and staff (Matt Busch) were requested to provide a briefing because Cr Hoadley claimed that she for one had not been informed of the outcome. 

Matt Busch explained that the purchase had been completed on the instruction of the Council, and in addition, $200,000 had been allocated to complete sealing and carpark marking. The previous Council rejected the proposal when it was put up during its term. It would be very interesting to know who promoted the new proposal, and how - is it another election pay-off by any chance?

Both these actions are outside of Council policy and the necessary authorising motions would have to have been passed at the time, but what is of greater concern is that these action have been concealed from public gaze. There is no indication that appropriate valuations were carried out, nor how these two items totalling $600,000 are to be funded. Board Chair Strat Peters attended the Council meeting on 14 December, and unless otherwise engaged, must have been aware of what happened. 

The matter only came into the public arena today because BM Mark Bridgeman asked in open meeting  why the Resource Consent that he had approved under delegation did not appear in the minutes, or agenda. 

So now it is out there - our Community Board, and Council have purchased an area of land from from the Thames Bowling Club for $400,000, and aproved sealing etc. for $200,000 with no public input whatsoever, and until inadvertantly released in public today, it would probably have remained secret business.

I believe that this method of operation is contrary to the Act, and that it should be subjected to an investigation by the Office of the Auditor General, but it won't happen - that office gives the impression of being unwilling to upset the applecart. 




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