Council staff have identified a series of errors and omissions in the 2011/2012 Annual Plan which means that Council may need to borrow some $2.5 million more than originally forecast.
The new management team brought on board earlier this year have just completed the work necessary to develop a better understanding of Council’s finances and the challenges that it faces. As a result of this work a series of errors and omissions totalling more than $4 million have been identified in the 2011/2012 Annual Plan. “To reduce the impact of these errors Council has moved to make a number of operational savings and reduce capital expenditure where possible” said Chief Executive Steve Ruru. “While the savings that have been made are sizeable it has not been possible to completely offset the errors made and hence the need for increased borrowing” he said.
Mayor Neil Tiller said that “Councillors have been asking for better financial reporting and a clear understanding of Council’s finances for some time. While it is disappointing that errors of this magnitude were made, Council is pleased that staff are now providing full financial reports that provide a clear understanding of our financial challenges. We are now getting the sort of financial reports that we need to make sound decisions. I am also confident that the quality of the information and advice that Council is receiving from staff will continue to improve under the leadership of new Chief Executive Steve Ruru.”
Looking forward Mayor Neil Tiller said “Council has kept its rates artificially low for a number of years. It is clear that rates will need to be increased significantly to enable Council to move forward instead of backwards as it has been doing. We will be looking to get community input on the options for addressing these issues as part of the upcoming 2012/2022 Ten Year Plan consultation process.”