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Council Agrees Annual Plan In One Day

Hutt City Mayor John Terris yesterday congratulated his Council for their co-operative approach to a difficult task after debate on the city's Annual Plan delivered a nil average residential rate increase and was concluded in just seven hours.

"There was plenty of robust debate but it remained amicable throughout and delivered the right result," Mayor Terris said

"We are, I believe, the only council in the country to deliver an average rate increase of zero over the past three years. Our intention is to try and benefit people on fixed incomes in particular. That is an achievement of which we can all be proud," said Mayor Terris.

"One of my personal aims has been to improve the facilities and services we provide for youth. I am particularly pleased that the Annual Plan contains provision for $90,000 to be used to fit and run a Youth Centre in the central city ($50,000 'new' money and $40,000 carried over from this financial year).

"We have also put $100,000 into developing a Safe City Strategy, which is aimed at making our city safer for all residents. Young people have made it clear that they want to be part of developing this strategy and I welcome their participation."

Other significant initiatives Council is funding include:
* $332,000 towards a programme to revitalise Jackson Street;
* $300,000 to complete refurbishment of the Little Theatre;
* $280,000 to be spent on upgrading Walter Nash Stadium;
* $50,000 for the libraries to purchase more books; and
* $250,000 to continue work on substandard roads.

"This Annual Plan is a very responsible one. We have been able to contain rates increases whilst ensuring that the city's economic and social progress is maintained and services standards are kept at current levels or better. Few councils could make such a claim."

We have also been able to give recognition to the fact that if we are to ensure Hutt City continues to be a great place to live, work and play, we need to look at projects that contribute to the vision of sustainable economic development," Mayor Terris said.

ENDS

Website: http://www.huttcity.govt.nz


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