The Waitaki District Council’s plans for the coming ten years were released for public consultation yesterday, with the opportunity for people to make submissions to the draft Plan available until 5pm Friday, 11 May.
The draft Long Term Plan 2012-22 provides information on all Council activities, how these will be delivered, how much they will cost and how they will be paid for. This year’s draft document is over 500 pages and composed of two volumes.
Council’s Chief Executive, Michael Ross, said for those not wanting to read the full draft Plan, a 12-page summary has been prepared which highlights the key issues contained in the draft Plan, including proposed rate rises for the coming ten years.
“The full draft Plan and the summary are available on our website, at Council service centres and libraries, and by e-mail. The summary will also be distributed to households throughout the District on 18 May as an insert in the Waitaki Herald.”
Mr Ross said the Council had also set up a new Long Term Plan website – www.waitaki.govt.nz/LTP2012 – to make it more convenient for people to be involved in the submission process.
“Getting the community’s feedback on the draft Plan is critical to its success. This is an opportunity for people to tell Council what they would like to see delivered in the future. The plan is currently in “draft” form and will remain so until submissions are considered by Council and before its adoption on 26 June. We have a fantastic new website which makes reading the draft Plan and making a submission online more user-friendly. And if people don’t want to make a full submission, there’s a quick and easy survey they can also complete online.”
As part of the consultation process, Councillors and Council officers have offered to meet with any groups or organisations with an interest in the draft Plan and who may wish to ask questions or discuss any issues in depth. There will also be opportunities for the public to meet face to face with Councillors which will be advertised over the coming weeks.
In addition, a research task competition for schools has also been created to encourage young people to learn more about the District and Council’s plans for the future, and to have their say on issues that matter to them.
“The draft Long Term Plan is a really important document for the Waitaki community. Unlike the previous 2009-19 Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP), Council is facing an environment where the global economy remains fragile, government spending, investment and subsides are constrained and costs (particularly insurance) have increased. These changes alone have added 4.9% to next year’s proposed 7.4% average rates increase. We’ve aimed to make it as easy as possible for people to tell the Council what they think about its plans for the future. I really encourage people to make the most of the new website and the other tools available for having their say,” Mr Ross said.
Council will hear verbal submissions to the draft Plan on 17 May and consider written submissions the following day, prior to making any final decisions on what will be included in the final Plan.