Stu­pid­ity on the pitch

The Hutt News - - YOUR VIEWS -

What a dis­grace­ful dis­play of fi­nan­cial stu­pid­ity and ig­no­rance our city coun­cil­lors are ex­hibit­ing when they bribe a sport­ing club (the squash play­ers) to shift out of the jointly used Mitchell Park premises and then spend $6m on new premises two kilo­me­tres away, mainly for a bowl­ing club.

The squash and ten­nis clubs shar­ing of their premises made sense, as with­out the squash club, the ten­nis club will be left on its own to main­tain the premises, this be­ing an ex­pense pre­vi­ously shared by both clubs and now un­af­ford­able by one alone.

This is on top of re­cently spent ratepay­ers’ money on main­te­nance of th­ese same premises.

When it be­came known that the hos­pi­tal no longer wanted the Mitchell Park land ad­ja­cent to it, then the in­tel­li­gent and sen­si­ble op­tion would have been to aban­don the ex­pen­sive $6m change of site for the bowl­ing club.

On top of this saga, comes the Coun­cil un­der­min­ing other busi­nesses (ratepay­ers all) by in­stalling gym equip­ment into the Huia Pool re­de­vel­op­ment, thus cut­ting the ground from un­der the feet of all those in­de­pen­dent gym providers in the Lower Hutt CBD.

The coun­cil at­ti­tude is what is $7-800,000 in a ‘‘to­tal project spend’’ of $7m up­grad­ing the pool com­plex.

It would be in­ter­est­ing to know ex­actly how many swim­mers re­quested the gym?

I say it is money be­ing thrown away, as with the $6m spend on the new un­nec­es­sary bowl­ing lawns at Nae­nae.

With the pro­jected $150m – $200m spend by the Coun­cil, th­ese fig­ures are sig­nif­i­cant to the ratepay­ers, whose an­nual charges will rise be­yond the abil­ity of some to pay.

The big­gest dis­grace is un­doubt­edly the de­mo­li­tion of the Hor­ti­cul­tural Hall and in­te­rior of the coun­cil build­ings, where a rea­son­ably eco­nomic up­grade would have saved the ratepay­ers tens of mil­lions of dol­lars.

I per­son­ally can­not see the ex­trav­a­gant con­fer­ence cen­tre be­ing any­thing but a great white ele­phant.

To my mind (and oth­ers I know) I think com­mon sense from coun­cil­lors has gone out the win­dow. It is just a pity those coun­cil­lors don’t fol­low.

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