Once again the residents and ratepayers of our city have been let down by our councillors and their overpaid employees, who have known for the past 19 years that the Canopies would need replacing in 2015 but have done nothing, it would seem, to prepare for their replacement.
In recent years the council, on our behalf, have spent many thousands of dollars on experts writing reports on the revitalisation of the city centre. To name but a few there have been reports from Cobus group, Wellington Waterfront, BECA and as recently as May this year an expert was flown in from Sydney for a workshop that was attended by over 80 well-intentioned property owners, residents and supporters of the shopping centre.
All of the reports written have supported the retention of the Canopies.
That no replacement for the Canopies has been prepared can only leave one to think that there is no desire within the council to have them replaced and all they have been waiting for is a report that they agree with.
They finally got their wish when it was found that, through lack of maintenance, the Canopies could be a danger and they would have to come down.
On a similar note, one of our overpaid employees commissioned a report recently on another issue, costing again many thousands of dollars.
When the report came back supporting the community, it was promptly rubbished by said employee because it didn’t fit in with his agenda.
Once again we, the residents and ratepayers, have had to bear the cost for someone else’s agenda – someone, who I expect, lives outside Porirua.
It’s time our elected councillors took more time reading the reports we have all paid for and not just accepting what is put in front of them by our chief executive. Porirua City Council chief executive Gary Simpson responds:
Since being erected, the Canopies have always been maintained to the manufacturers specifications and have now reached the end of their life. Mr Thomas guesses that the Canopies will not be replaced and while discussions will continue on the nature of their replacement, the structures supporting the canopies will remain in place after the now degraded cover is removed.
This permits a new canopy fabric to be installed once that decision is made by the council. Funding for a replacement cover is likely to be included in the 2015 long term plan.
There is no agenda, hidden or otherwise, not to replace them, as Mr Thomas suggests.