An extraordinary meeting requested by Clrs Candy Bingham and Hugh Burns was unsuccessful last night in its attempt to get the Liberal-run Council to provide further reports on the costings related to the proposed Manly Oval car park. (29/1/14).
Three due diligence reports commissioned by the Council, which were made public days before Christmas, have raised more questions than they have answered, with inconsistencies between the reports proving a further concern.
Clr Candy Bingham questioned three main issues raised by the community:
i) Assumed revenue of $14 per car stay vs actual of $10
(does this mean parking fees will increase by almost 50%?)
ii) Assumption of 353 vehicles per day by KPMG vs
225-341 reported by Bitzios findings. Which figure is right?
iii) Major inconsistency in growth forecast in commercial
space between Bitzios report (+42%) and HillPDA
iv) Lack of justification re the cost of funds at 5% and whether Council
can borrow at that rate until all loans are repaid
……………. (see reports in story below for more details)
Clr Hugh Burns stated that the one clear message in the reports was that the Oval car park was doomed. Clr Cathy Griffin questioned why Council was planning to build a car park which would run at a loss, replacing one that currently contributed $700,000 per year to revenue.
The Liberal Council remained firm stating that the Manly 2015 Plan was following due process by lodging a Capital Expenditure submission to the Division of Local Government (DLG) for the building of the Manly Oval car park, on the same day the Councillors received the due diligence reports.
The independent Councillors questioned the ‘due process’ of submitting reports to the DLG before they had even been noted by Councillors.
A large gallery attended the meeting including a number of Chairs of local resident precinct groups, business owners and concerned citizens.
The Mayor, Clr Jean Hay, was is top form abusing members of the public gallery and accusing Clr Bingham of ‘seeking headlines’ by requesting an extraordinary meeting be called.
Clr Bingham stated that since the Manly 2015 Plan had been released by Council three years ago, no staff report had been submitted to Council allowing public debate on the Plan. All briefings had been held at in-house workshops where no minutes were taken.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.