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Wednesday
Nov272013

Council Projects 

Take a close look at these two projects that were 'approved' at today's meeting, and wonder at the patently false manner in which this information was presented when the fact is that they are only 'provisionally', or 'approved in principle'. This is far different from the impression provided in the headline of the PR release.

""Regardless of whether we are successful in our applications to the Lotteries Commission Significant Projects Fund, our Council and those we are partnering with are committed to ensuring that both the new section of the Rail Trail and the Cathedral Coast Walk do happen," says the Mayor""

Cr Fox (Chair of Audit) was wont to point out that nothing of this nature could be appoved until it had proceeded through the Audit Committee process, and I gained the impression that he was far from happy by this blatant exercise of power by the Mayor. This in the face of the inevitably strong examination that all expenditure proposals are likely to be subject to now that the true financial position of the Council is becoming apparent.

The Mayor was anxious to get these through and out of the way today because because of impending deadlines for Lottery Commission applications. It shows his determination to get ahead with these projects come Hell or high water ("Runs on the board"). I continue to question the legality of spending $1m of ratepayer funds outside of the District (Cycleway) - this question was not asked today, nor explanation offered.

Watch this space.

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Reader Comments (2)

No doubt both these projects will deliver adequate benefit to local business to justify the not inconsiderable expense involved, but what troubles me is the abject failure of the Council to consider significant support to those local assets that also have potential to deliver an economic return. I would have thought that a more modest investment in existing recreational, heritage and environmental assets would encourage local participation and deliver a faster return than the creation of a 'new' asset.
The other troubling issue is the process that was worked through to determine which of the options was the best choice? While the cycleway is a sensible (?) extension of the existing phenomenally successful rail trail project and was always likely to be a project high up the list, the Cathedral Coast walkway appears to have been selected only on the basis of the Mayor's determination to push it through. Rate-payers might reasonably have expected some sort of consultative process to have occurred that allowed them (rate-payers) the opportunity of input into possible project options and selection. Given the parlous state of our, yet to be revealed, finances, it seems appropriate to involve rate-payer submissions when considering project options that involve significant financial outlay; if for no other reason than to be able to blame rate-payers when it all goes wrong...

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

I agree , the wording of the council pr document is misleading and implies we are well on our way to achieving the two projects , but it's only in the small print that you read they are subject to the district plan process....... The council spin doctors are at it again !!

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

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