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ALT board members, back, Roger Paterson, Kieran Breakwell, Robert Harnett, Chris Robertson, front, Fay Watson, Robert Reid (Ashburton Trust general manager) and Jim Lischner.

By Mick Jensen

Fay Watson has been elected as the chairman of Ashburton Licensing Trust (ALT) and will lead its new-look board.

Mrs Watson is the former trust chief financial officer and has an association with the ALT that goes back 30 years.

She follows in the footsteps of the late Dorothy Moon, who was ALT chairman from 1980 until 1992.

Mrs Watson said the hospitality operating climate had changed considerably in recent years and the local picture was changing quickly as ALT changed its business model and reduced the number of venues it ran.

She welcomed new ALT board members Kieran Breakwell and Robert Harnett and congratulated re-elected members Roger Paterson, Jim Lischner and Chris Robertson at last week’s board meeting.

She said there “were significant things to sort out” in the new term.

Board members voted to keep the ALT chairman’s annual remuneration at $20,000 for the first year and will review it in line with the workload demanded of the changing role.

Newly elected deputy ALT chair Chris Robertson said the decision to sell off businesses and move to a landlord-style model would likely mean less demands on the time of the chairman and board members further into the term.

Board members will continue to receive an attendance fee of $280 per meeting and that payment will also be reviewed in 12 months time.

Roger Paterson will continue as ALT representative on the Lion Foundation.

ALT will also monitor its monthly meeting schedule over the next six months and will look at the need for sub committees, which it currently has set up to monitor business areas such as health and safety, human resources, audit risk, finance and property.

In recent months ALT has sold Braided Rivers, Speight’s Ale House, Somerset Grocer and Hotel Ashburton.

It still has the Tinwald Tavern and Tinwald Motels for sale and has indicated it will hold on to the Devon Tavern for the foreseeable future.