Seymour rejects blame for any costs of delay

The council lost 10 months on the transfer of the administration building.

The council lost 10 months on the transfer of the administration building.

CLAIMS that questioning of the decision to transfer ownership of the district council’s administration building to Gisborne Holdings Ltd had cost the ratepayers and the company money were denied at yesterday’s council meeting.

The council was discussing a revised timetable for the transfer of its commercial assets to its fully-owned holding company GHL.

Chief executive Judy Campbell told councillors that the council lost 10 months on the transfer of the administration building.

It had been agreed to but had then been delayed and delayed.

“As a consequence we cannot guarantee any more getting this (the transfer of other assets) through before the election.”

No major decisions could be made three months before the local body elections in October.

Larry Foster asked what the delay had cost ratepayers — was there a figure available?

Mrs Campbell said that was not possible except to say staff could no longer get the full intended asset transfer done before the compulsory shutdown for the local body elections this year.

Mr Foster said this delay had also affected GHL because their intention was to have all the assets transferred and utilised.

Pat Seymour said an insinuation was being made that those questioning the building decision over the summer, when there were not many council officers there, were at fault for causing this delay. She did not think that was valid.

There may have been delays, which nobody was arguing about, but if Mr Foster was implying that those who sought more information created a delay that subsequently cost the ratepayers money, she disputed that.

Mrs Campbell said “all the staff who were working on the transfer were at work over the summer, and I can categorically say that this delayed the next stage of the transfers that were contemplated.

“There is nothing wrong with asking questions but it had the consequence of delaying the next stage.”

CLAIMS that questioning of the decision to transfer ownership of the district council’s administration building to Gisborne Holdings Ltd had cost the ratepayers and the company money were denied at yesterday’s council meeting.

The council was discussing a revised timetable for the transfer of its commercial assets to its fully-owned holding company GHL.

Chief executive Judy Campbell told councillors that the council lost 10 months on the transfer of the administration building.

It had been agreed to but had then been delayed and delayed.

“As a consequence we cannot guarantee any more getting this (the transfer of other assets) through before the election.”

No major decisions could be made three months before the local body elections in October.

Larry Foster asked what the delay had cost ratepayers — was there a figure available?

Mrs Campbell said that was not possible except to say staff could no longer get the full intended asset transfer done before the compulsory shutdown for the local body elections this year.

Mr Foster said this delay had also affected GHL because their intention was to have all the assets transferred and utilised.

Pat Seymour said an insinuation was being made that those questioning the building decision over the summer, when there were not many council officers there, were at fault for causing this delay. She did not think that was valid.

There may have been delays, which nobody was arguing about, but if Mr Foster was implying that those who sought more information created a delay that subsequently cost the ratepayers money, she disputed that.

Mrs Campbell said “all the staff who were working on the transfer were at work over the summer, and I can categorically say that this delayed the next stage of the transfers that were contemplated.

“There is nothing wrong with asking questions but it had the consequence of delaying the next stage.”

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