While Mayor Sideshow Bob and his council chums had $3 million to waste on the 'naming rights' to the Ellerslie Garden Show, the council chose to cut the funding to Surf Life Saving Canterbury. As a consequence, surf patrols are in danger of being cut by two weeks this summer.
The surf lifesaving body applied for $167,918 for its patrol service over the summer holiday period, as well as a $35,000 grant for its volunteer service.
The Christchurch City council declined the grant and approved $141,000 for the holiday patrols.
Last year, the surf lifesavers were granted $183,000, and $171,000 in 2007.
Said an angry Surf Life Saving Canterbury manager Dougal Holmes: 'We can't patrol with limited numbers. We are gobsmacked that a cut like this has been made. For the service we provide and some of the other things money is spent on, I don't feel they have given it a huge amount of thought.'
Lifeguard Sam Henry told the media that people's lives would be at risk.
"If these cuts go ahead, the council would have openly shirked its responsibility to community needs. What value does the council plan to put on the cost of lives this summer? Obviously, not very much.'
In response, Council recreation and sports manager John Filsell said: '"These are difficult times. The council has made difficult decisions all around.'
But the times can't be that 'difficult' since Sideshow Bob and his chums still spent $3 million on the Ellerslie Garden Show - in order to give the residents of Merivale and Fendalton somewhere to go.
The times also can't be that 'difficult' if the council can find $17 million to buy five over priced buildings from property developer Dave Henderson - a man who has stacked up a mountain of debt and has had several of his companies put into liquidation.
The real point is that in the depths of an economic recession you don't go spending money on garden shows and bailing out shambolic property developers. It is a matter of priorities and Sideshow Bob and his council supporters have got their priorities seriously wrong.