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ARC Annual Plan submissions close

ARC Annual Plan submissions close

The Auckland Regional Council (ARC) consultation process on the Annual Plan for 2003/04 closed on Thursday 1st May. Nearly 600 submissions were received from members of the public, local councils across the Auckland region, a range of companies, and other organisations.

Analysis of submissions indicates that public transport and regional rates policies are the issues of most significance in this year's Annual Plan consultation process. Submissions discuss the merits of the ARC's proposal to use capital value without a Uniform Annual General Charge or differentials, to calculate regional rates.

In addition to specific concerns, many submissions were about the proposed rates increase. A petition was also received by Gwen Bull, ARC Chair, on Monday 28th April from Kumeu Residents and Ratepayers Group, with over 1000 signatures on it, voicing concerns about transport rates and how they will be calculated. Meanwhile, other submitters were positive about the ARC's proposed public transport plans. A complete analysis of all submissions should be carried out by 8th May.

Gwen Bull, ARC Chair said "We are delighted to have such a wide range of submissions from the community, and Councillors are keen to listen to comments and ideas. It is now our responsibility to listen to and consider the views of the community, and change our Annual Plan where appropriate."

This submission process is a legal process which takes place every year - the ARC is required to consult with the public about what it plans to do, as outlined in the draft Annual Plan 2003/04. ARC Councillors then hear submissions from those who have indicated they wish to present their issues in person. Submissions will be heard from Tuesday 20th May, and hearings will continue for the rest of that week. Having heard and read all submissions, ARC Councillors will weigh up changes that need to be made to the draft Annual Plan. The final Annual Plan for 2003/04 will then be adopted by Council on Monday 23rd June.

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