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Draft annual plan adopted, comment welcomed

Draft annual plan adopted, community comment welcomed

The Auckland Regional Council yesterday adopted its draft Annual Plan for the 2003/4 financial year and is now actively seeking public comment during the 1 April to 1 May consultation period.

At the conclusion of the Council meeting ARC Chair Gwen Bull said “for the first time this year the region’s 450,000 ratepayers will be receiving a rate demand directly from us. It is important that they have had the opportunity to have their say in advance about the content of the plan before it is finalised. ARC rates are not new, but have been collected in the past by the City and District Councils on our behalf. Ratepayers have not previously had a direct relationship with us. The new process brings an enormous challenge for the ARC, but it also offers us a wonderful opportunity for a close relationship with our constituents.”

During the coming week a summary of the draft Annual Plan will be distributed to all households as a special edition of Regionwide, and the draft Annual Plan will be available on the ARC website http://www.arc.govt.nz in April. People can also call (09) 366 2000 for further information. The significant issues in this year’s draft plan are -

The new rating process and the method proposed for setting the rates

Passenger transport proposals and the cost of improving the passenger transport network

The proposed visitor centre for the Regional Botanic Gardens at Manurewa

However, submissions are welcomed on all aspects of the plan. Attached is a summary of the proposed rates in a manner that makes it easy for ratepayers to calculate how much they may be asked to pay. Also attached is a contact list for ARC Councillors.

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