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Council receives legal advice on upcoming cycling centre decision

Waikato Regional Council has received preliminary advice about the risk of a legal challenge if councillors who are the subject of conduct complaints take part in the vote later this month on whether or not to fund the proposed velodrome.

Chief Executive Bob Laing said he had sought legal advice after receiving two complaints about four councillors in relation to their conduct and statements about a proposal to contribute $6 million toward the building of a new national cycling centre of excellence at Cambridge. The council is due to hear submissions on the proposal next week, ahead of making the final decision on Wednesday, 14 September.

Mr Laing said the legality of the council’s decision could be threatened if a councillor had predetermined their final position before hearing and considering the submissions and all other relevant information. This could result in a lengthy and costly legal challenge.

He said the council was taking all necessary steps to protect the integrity of the decision-making process and ensure proper procedures were followed.

The councillors had been advised of the legal opinion and were considering the implications.

The legal risk relates to the final vote on 14 September which decides whether council funding for the cycling centre goes ahead or not. Participation in the hearings next Tuesday and Wednesday does not put the council at risk.

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