Eleventh-hour efforts unlikely to overturn council's decision

STRONG SUPPORT: Speaker Bill Day at the Maclean Pool Rally at Cameron Park to save ousted pool managers Robyn and John Clarke’s yesterday. Photos: Leigh Jensen
STRONG SUPPORT: Speaker Bill Day at the Maclean Pool Rally at Cameron Park to save ousted pool managers Robyn and John Clarke’s yesterday. Photos: Leigh Jensen

THE strength of the support for ousted Maclean Pool contractors John and Robyn Clarke has prompted a last ditch manoeuvre to overturn the decision.

About 400 residents rallied in support of the Clarkes in Cameron Park on Saturday to call on Clarence Valley Council to overturn a decision to award the contract to manage the pool to another tenderer.

The Clarkes have operated the pool for 39 years, but were unable to convince the council they were the best people for the job when the tender was awarded at the council's July 15 meeting.

Inspired by the size of the rally and the strong support for the Clarkes from the Maclean community, Cr Jim Simmons has emailed Mayor Richie Williamson and his fellow councillors to seek a rescission motion on the decision.

"Regarding your comment that council cannot consider a rescission motion or to that affect. Can you confirm whether council has entered into a written contract with Valley Pool Services?"

"I appreciate that council resolved to accept the tender from Valley Pool Services, but has the written contract been entered into yet?," he wrote.

"If not, can a rescission motion be lodged before the written contract is entered into?

"If the written contract has not been entered into then are there two other councillors prepared to signed a rescission motion that may enable negotiation with John and Robyn Clarke similar to what happened with South Grafton and Grafton pools?"

At Saturday's meeting Cr Williamson appeared to rule out rescinding the decision.

He said a rescission motion was impossible because the pool contract was "executed" at the time the council made its decision.

Cr Williamson faced some hostile questions after he addressed the rally.

When asked if the council always took the lowest bid from a tender, he said he would have to look into it, but could not remember when the council had not taken the lowest tender.

Mr Clarke also took issue with Cr Williamson's claim all tenderers were consulted during the process.

He said apart from a tenderers meeting at the start of the process, where anyone considering a tender could look over the pool complex, there was no contact between any of the tenderers and the council.

The rally MC Denny Prussian said the purpose of rally was to educate councillors in the way the Maclean community felt about the Clarkes.

Several speakers addressed the meeting including rally organisers Belinda Cameron and Lindsay Grant, former Maclean Shire Councillor Bill Day, Ian McLennan from the Maclean Action Group and long time pool patron Mark Horton took on that task.

Topics:  clarence valley council maclean pool

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