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Bar owners offer to hold proceedings for mediation

MEDIA STATEMENT 22 March 2006


Released by: The Oxford Terrace Restaurant & Bars Association

Bar owners offer to hold proceedings for mediation

The Oxford Terrace bar owners in dispute with the Christchurch City Council over the process used to set the outdoor-dining rental rates, have made an offer to hold legal proceedings if Councillors will reconsider the bar owners call to go to mediation.

Last week bar owners felt they were left with no option but to apply for an interim injunction to stop the council from removing their outdoor furniture and pursue a judicial review of the council’s process in setting its rental rates.

However, over the last few days, bar owners have taken some heart from the Mayor and Councillors’ comments, in an advertisement placed in the Press on Saturday, particular their hope that “an agreeable resolution to this issue will be reached as quickly as possible."

Antony Gough, who is the landlord for many of the Oxford Terrace properties, said the bar owners are also hoping to reach an agreeable resolution of issues as quickly as possible.

“All we have ever wanted was a fair, inclusive and transparent process.”

“With respect to the Council’s advertisement, the Council having refused to mediate, bar owners are a little confused as to how the Council intends to reach such a resolution in the absence of any mediation, ” he said

“However, assuming the Council is sincere in its hope that an agreeable resolution will be reached, the bars have written to the Council suggesting that the proceedings could be put on hold so as to allow such a resolution to be found either by way of mediation or alternatively adjudication.”

“Essentially the bars’ desire (and always has been) is to have the licence fee structure determined by the appointment of independent valuers. If agreement is unable to be reached between the valuers, then the issue might be dealt with through mediation or arbitration,” said Antony Gough.
As to how the letter will be received, Antony Gough is hopeful the Mayor and Councillors’ will consider the bar owners offer to hold legal proceedings as a matter of urgency at tomorrow’s Council meeting.

Statement submitted on behalf of:

Coyote, Liquidity, Ferment, Di Lusso, Viaduct, The Boulevard, Sticky Fingers Barcelona & Antony Gough - Hereford Holdings Ltd

ENDS

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