Council defers events strategy - again

Last updated 05:00 02/08/2014

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Frustration is growing at the Timaru District Council's lack of progress on its events strategy, which has been over two years in the making and has been deferred again for further research.

In June, 2012, the South Island Masters Games (SIMG) put in a submission to the annual plan that the council develop an events strategy and also put $150,000 aside annually to fund events.

The strategy would define significant events in terms of factors such as numbers attending or participating, numbers of visitors attending or participating from outside the district, and community and economic benefits to the district.

At the council meeting on Tuesday the events strategy was deferred for further research and to consult with other councils to understand how they have developed their events strategies and to ask ratepayers what they wanted.

SIMG chairman Tony Shaw was disappointed the strategy was being deferred again.

"Two years ago [then mayor] Janie Annear said that a strategy was very close to getting out. "I do not believe it is good enough."

Mayor Damon Odey said the council looked at the issue last term but had since realised it needed to update the grants and loans policy first.

"In all fairness we chopped and shuffled [the events strategy] around last term. We should have done the grants and loans policy first but we jumped into the events strategy, but realised the management team didn't have a policy they could relate it to.

"The long-term plan is coming up again, so one of the things we will be asking people is, ‘do we spend enough on events and would you like to see more money spent on events?'

"As a councillor pointed out, the core business of the council is not to give money away, and at the moment we have a really small pool [of funds]. It is a hard one."

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- The Timaru Herald

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