Pool to open earlier again

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 09:35 17/12/2012

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Comparison with Kapiti Coast District Council's consultancy fees has been used as leverage to reverse cost- saving cuts to Waikanae Pool hours.

Councillor Peter Ellis left the council table on Thursday to talk from the public speaker's podium in a bid to to reverse October's decision cutting 6am opening on weekends and public holidays.

In October the council voted to delay the pool's weekend and public holiday opening from 6am till 8am to save money. However, Mr Ellis said the move was likely saving very little.

"Probably three staff members' wages, probably $100 a day; $200 for a weekend; 12 weekends, $2400 . . . that's without even getting the entry fees."

Mr Ellis said the council could save that $2400 by cutting consultant fees.

"We've got a meeting this afternoon on the opening of the new aquatic centre, which is going to be facilitated by a consultant. We could save this [the 6am opening costs] by saving a consultant's fee - we'd save probably the $2400."

After the meeting community services group manager Tamsin Evans confirmed a consultant was hired to run a workshop on opening arrangements for Coastlands Aquatic Centre.

"We decided to use a facilitator because of the range of people involved at the workshop - councillors, the mayor, sponsors, trust members, council staff and user groups - the amount of time we have available . . . the challenge of getting such a diverse group together, and the real need to get things right for the opening."

Ms Evans said without "robust discussion" now, the opening could run into problems down the track.

"The facilitator Robyn Cockburn has very good skills as well as sector and facility knowledge and the fee of $1000 for the half-day workshop, preparation and travel, is very reasonable."

Meanwhile Mr Ellis' item was included later in the meeting, where he said changing back to 6am opening would not be needed permanently.

"I think after this year it won't be an issue, because you'll have the aquatic centre which presumably will be open from 6am till 10pm at night."

Councillors voted to allow the opening time to revert to 6am on weekends and public holidays till the end of February.

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