Timms on leave

Environment Southland chairman Ali Timms is on leave following an "unacceptable lapse of judgement".

Cr Timms' prank call to City Talk was not mentioned in this morning's Environment Southland council meeting, the final one for the year, but a supplementary report was tabled to be discussed in private.

Later, acting chairman Nicol Horrell has issued the following statement: "Councillors have unanimously expressed our extreme disapproval of the unacceptable lapse of judgement shown by Chairman Ali Timms in taking part in the Invercargill City Council's televised talkback programme under an assumed name last week.

"Councillors have accepted Cr Timms' application for six weeks leave of absence, effective immediately. We expect to hold an Extraordinary meeting of Council to consider the Council's Chairmanship in late January."

The item was labelled "chairman's recent media comments'' in the supplementary report and was not included in the agenda papers because the matter arose after they were distributed.

The item could not be delayed because it needs to be dealt with immediately, the supplementary report says.

Councillors usually hold an informal half hour ''caucus opportunity'' before council meetings, where they can discuss any issues they have. Because these meetings are informal, agendas and minutes are not compiled and they are closed to the public.

The Southland Times