OPINION: May I, through your newspaper, ask the TSB Community Trust to explain how it has managed to exceed its applicant eligibility criteria, in making any grants for the Len Lye Centre.
Firstly, applicants for grants must bank predominantly or solely with the TSB Bank. In the case of the New Plymouth District Council we know that is not true, so it should not have been eligible for any grant.
Secondly, only one grant will be approved per applicant. Simply by underwriting the $1.3 million the TSB Community Trust is admitting the possibility of providing a second grant for a project.
The governing body must be the applicant. If the NPDC did make an application (which I doubt), it must have lied on it. If it didn't make an application, how did it get the original $1 million? Funding for facilities will be considered if evidence is produced that the facility has significant community use.
Because the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery does not have an auditable attendance log, as it refuses to charge for entry, no such evidence is available.
We were originally told that the Len Lye Foundation (LLF) would raise the funds, build the centre and then donate it to the city. Somehow, that has now become the NPDC raises the money, builds the building and then donates it to itself to run.
Even if the LLF applied for the grants, it is unlikely that it banks with the TSB, as five of eight members are not even locals, and one is a ring-in. If the TSB Community Trust has exceeded its own rules, it should withdraw both grant offers immediately and allow real TSB Bank applicants access to local money.
I am a lifelong TSB Bank customer.
- Taranaki Daily News
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