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Annual Plan Adopted

June 29, 2004 Media Release

Annual Plan Adopted

Waitakere City Council today adopted its annual budget and work programme for the 2004/2005 financial year.

After a month of submissions, hearings and debate, City Councillors cut a proposed 3.97% rates increase to 2.97% or 75 cents a week. The Annual Plan for 2004/2005 is based on Year 2 of the Council’s Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) which outlined the priorities for growth and development for 10 years ahead.

Waitakere received over 450 submissions on its Annual Plan and changes to the LTCCP. That number is generally in line with previous years. Many of the submissions resulted in substantial changes to the draft plan.

Features of the budget for next year include: An additional $380,000 for footpaths and kerbing and channelling in Glengarry Rd, Glen Eden. Major expenditure on new library books ($1.113 million). $16.5 million on new stormwater infrastructure. $70,000 for new parking area in Green Bay. $84,000 to trial extended council services at the Massey Library ( bill payments, information on other Council services etc). $170,000 has been allocated for initiatives aimed at attracting new businesses into the City. The Council will not allocate any funds towards a proposed marae for local iwi (note: there was no money in the draft Annual Plan, but this was highlighted as an issue for consultation) The Playhouse Theatre in Glen Eden and the Lopdell House art gallery in Titirangi each receive $25,000 extra to cover staff costs. $30.467 million on new roads, footpaths and repairs $7.85 million on parks (paths, drainage, toilets etc). $45,000 to Surf Life Saving New Zealand so that it can continue patrols on the west coast. That is a $5000 increase on the current year. The Uniform Annual General Charge (which all properties pay), remains the same at $460.

The Council will collect $92.6 million in rates for 2004/05.

Meanwhile, during the deliberations, the Council decided to contribute its regionally agreed sum towards the purchase of Kaikoura Island in the Hauraki Gulf. However Waitakere’s share ($37,273) will be paid for out of savings in the current financial year, and will therefore have no impact on rates.

Councillor Janet Clews is chair of the special committee which reviewed the budget.

She says the end result is a “good mix” of traditional infrastructure spending and support for community groups.

“The simple fact is that we can’t afford to do everything we would like or that the community asks for,” she says. “But once again we have delivered one of the lowest rates rises in the Auckland area, and the work programme will continue to see the City grow and flourish.”

Mrs Clews says that compared with single service providers such as electricity and telecommunications companies, Councils deliver a much broader range of services. “We provide everything from roads and footpaths to community events, parks, libraries, animal control, rubbish disposal and so on. And all at a much lower cost than those other utilities.”

“In fact, there aren’t too many large organisations in the country that can say they’ve kept their costs to around the rate of inflation in the past year.”

Waitakere’s 2.97% increase compares well with others in the Auckland region. North Shore City has confirmed an increase of 4.6% and in Rodney rates will rise 3.4%.

This translates to an increase of just 75 cents per week, or $39 a year (from $1,367 to $1,406), on a property worth the Waitakere City average of $90,000.

The Council also adopted the Policy on Remissions and Postponement of Rates; Revenue and Financing Policy and the Development Contributions Policy as amendments to the LTCCP.

ENDS

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