COUNCIL

Future direction of District out for consultation

Thursday 28 June 2012, 6:11PM
By Wairoa District Council
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WAIROA

Wairoa District Council’s draft roadmap for the next 10 years is officially open for consultation from today.

Many hours of work and pre-consultation have gone into preparing the draft Long Term Plan (LTP), which details what the Council will be doing over the next 10 years and how it will be paid for.

The LTP is by no means set in concrete, which is why Council is asking for submissions from anyone who has ideas to share. Written submissions, followed by a hearing for verbal submissions, will then be used to construct a final draft of the plan for adoption.

The key challenge for Councillors and Council Officers has been to work up a budget in an uncertain economic environment, while at the same time maintaining standards of service and development that will sustain the community into the future.

Chief Executive Peter Freeman said rates increases were a necessary fact at present, although Council have attempted to soften the affects as far as possible by spreading the rises over two years.

“We can cut a lot out of the budget, but some factors are beyond our control. Universal increases in insurance have played a major part in our rates increases, along with challenges with depreciation.”

Among the significant issues identified in the plan is a focus on the proposed Local Government reforms, which are set to change the face of how the district’s services, resources and operations are managed. Legislative proposals are expected from Central Government later this year, although at present Council is unsure as to what changes will be made and how they will affect Wairoa.

Mayor Les Probert said it was important to be proactive and keep an open mind about any changes that might come about as a result of the government proposals.

“We encourage the community to keep up-to-date and be involved wherever possible. On our part, we aim to keep you as well-informed as possible of any changes. Details of the proposal are listed in the plan and summary under ‘Significant Issues’ – please read it and let us know what you think,” Mr Probert said.

Council appreciates your input on this and the many other issues contained within this plan, including the proposed sharing of services with other councils, upgrades to the community centre and skatepark, and covering increased costs of insurance.

While people are encouraged to read the full LTP, a summary document is being mailed to all residents, focusing on the significant issues and how they might affect the individual ratepayer.

The summary includes a submission form for people to have input in the draft LTP, which has a delayed release due to the time taken to bring together.

The information is also available online at www.wairoadc.govt.nz or call in to the offices on Queen Street.