I've been saying for some time now - for most of the year in fact - that Mayor Sideshow Bob and his council supporters have a lukewarm and unenthusiastic 'commitment'  to the Christchurch City Council's important social role.

The most obvious example of this was Sideshow Bob's attempt to put council rents up a massive 24 percent  - which would of severely impacted on some of Christchurch's  poorest people.

Similarly Sideshow  Bob has taken an axe to community  funding - while, at the same time, handing out a  large amount of dosh to his mate,  failed property developer Dave Henderson and spending some $5 million on the 'naming rights'  to a garden show.

Bob's latest madness is his desire to wreck the Arts Centre by plonking  a $24 million architectural monstrosity smack in the middle of it.

While Sideshow Bob likes to flaunt himself in  front of the cameras -as he did recently on TV3's Sunrise, extolling the 'attractions'  of Christchurch - out in the real  world  more  community organisations are suffering 'the Bob experience'. It's a pity that TV3's Carly Flynn ddin't do some real journalism for a change and investigate what is really happening in Christchurch - rather than allowing Sideshow to spin his PR garbage.

The latest development is that the city's eleven  early childhood centres  have been advised by  the Christchurch City  Council that their leases  will be renegotiated and 'possibly' set at a 'market rate'.  This would mean that the leases would effectively double.

Yes, no one is safe from the Parker-Marryatt 'axis of evil'. Also flying the flag for the 'free market' are  Bob's  other council supporters including  the very modest and certainly not patronising Sue Wells - who  has recently returned from a ratepayer funded jaunt to France - and silly old duffer Barry Corbett.

The council intends to make a final  decision on the leases in May next year. The leases  expire on  June 30.

Presently the council guarantees  an  annual grant to non-profit early childhood centres operating on  council owned land.

In plain terms the childhood centre pays the rental. In the case of the Redwood Early Childhood Centre, for example, it is $32,000. This money would normally be refunded via a council grant.

The problem now is that the centres will have to apply to the council's  'Strengthening Communities Fund'  which has some $7.7 million in its pot. However the fund is oversubscribed while,  at the same time, the council has failed to increase the size of the fund.

Some of  the $18 million given to  Dave Henderson would have been better  employed going into this fund. Or some of the $ 5 million spent on a garden show. Or the $24 million that Bob wants to waste wrecking the Arts Centre.

While the early childhood centres have enjoyed a level of stability under the present scheme, the new system means the centres have no idea whether they can even  keep their doors open.

 A  community disaster  threatens because there is no guarantee  that the childchood centres will even get funding for one year, never mind the multi-year funding they have benefited from in the past.

The council says it is looking at five year leases  for the centres - but the chances that the centres will receive a guarantee of five years council funding is extremely  remote under the unsympathetic regime of Sideshow Bob.

Laughably, the council says that the childhood centres do have 'financial alternatives'.   Oh yeah? What the council is really saying is that the centres  will have to reduce costs by sacking staff and reducing services. This will, of course, have  an adverse impact on the families - many of them from lower socio-economic backgrounds - who use the centres.

This is not a 'financial alternative' and is simply another case of the council failing to meet its  responsibilities to the community that it claims to represent.

Joseph Ransfield is the chairman of the Redwood Childhood Centre's ' management committee  and a man who clearly  knows what Sideshow Bob and his council chums are all about.

'The city council are losing the community spirit.' he told the local media  this week. 'They're going to user pays.'


  1. It's also ironic that while Sideshow spends $5 million on a Auckland garden show he and his cronies are cutting funding to Christchurch's valuable community gardens - what a tosser.

  2. Anonymous,
    Bob spent only $NZ 3 million on Ellerslie, but he left it to his minions in Christchurch City Companies to hide the other costs which will soon capitilise Ellerslie the $5 million, you say.

    Hey but who's counting. Think about the Hereford palace at $200 million.

  3. Fabulous website,I joined in and supported the protest today to have Bob and his untrusty side kick removed.Christchurch residents need to join together and stand up for our democracy or continue to face the bobgate show in which the residents and our children will be paying for any in action for many years to come as Your Rates and council services will only rise further to cover such under handed spending.If you wrote a list of all the ill under handed spending this Mayor and Ceo and Yes councillors have spent over the last 4-5 years it would be millions and millions of dollars of Christchurch residents money WASTED''''(Eg,We call ourselves the Garden City yet paid $5 million to be called Elleslie?go fiquire that one out.Money that could have been better used to assist the wider communities.Perhaps a total list and spending could be published...Im all for the council to do there job and do it in a professional manner but when clearly there is a fundamental lack of leadership,Lack of clear communication andlack of co-operative decesion making with back room deals being done then clearly Bobgate Must be Stopped at all cost.Never in the history of our city has a Mayor caused so much dysfunction to the point of requiring a government referee(THIS SENDS CLEAR ALARM BELLS THAT BOBS MANAGEMENT STYLE IS CLEARLY BOB ONESIDED & STUFFED)to what was a professional functioning council before sideshow Bobgate.I commend the author/s of this website.Cheers Joseph Ransfield.


Comments are moderated.