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After all the bluster and opposition in the last few months, it ended up almost being a non-event. The council voted unanimously for full restoration of the Town Hall*, which is great. I didn’t make it to the Council for the decision, but caught up with the team who were arguing for retention, including Dr Jessica Halliday, Barnaby Bennett, and the Town Hall architects, Sir Miles Warren and Maurice Mahoney, afterwards. It’s remarkable that these two men are still around, and sad that they have had to go to council to save one of their finest buildings.  In the brief time I was there with them, it was clear that Sir Miles is still as sharp as a tack, and I think the city could do much worse than having him more involved in the rebuild. There was some discussion around the Cathedral, which may be the next fight. It was also heartening to see Labour Deputy and leadership contender Grant Robertson supporting the decision, which follows an announcement in July which would suggest that some thought is finally being given to the heritage portfolio/

Back at the council this afternoon, the Hagley Oval proposal was given the go ahead, with only 3 councillors voting in opposition. The council gave Canterbury Cricket a lease, and provided $1 million for some of the developments. It does beg the question as to where the remaining $19 million is going to come from, especially given that – as I blogged about yesterday – Canterbury Cricket has *literally* no money.

One of the funnier things about today’s proceedings was when Jamie Gough argued that we needed to defer the decision till next March, to give him more time to read the reports. The council first voted on this last year, in November. It’s his job to be prepared for any vote – and yet he wanted it put off another 6 months. That didn’t fly – but when the decision on Hagley Park came up, he didn’t make the same argument, despite the Environment Court decision only having come out at the start of last week. But apparently it was more than enough time for Gough to get his head around that controversial decision.

*Tim Carter didn’t cast a vote

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