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Waitakere Begins Budget Deliberations

March 10, 2008

MEDIA RELEASE (For Immediate Release)

Waitakere Begins Budget Deliberations

Councillors have begun deliberations on the Waitakere City’s draft annual plan (budget) for 2008/2009.

Over the next 10 days the Council will review all aspects of operations before settling on a budget which will then be released for public comment.

Submissions open on April 11 and close May 14. After that hearings will be held and a final budget adopted, in June.

The draft budgets under consideration include a major capital expenditure programme of $142 million, which includes parks ($9 million), work in and around the New Lynn town centre ($45 million) libraries ($5 million) and an upgrade of Te Atatu Peninsula Community Centre ($2.2 million).

Draft budgets as presented to the Council show possible rates rises of between 6.5% and 8%. The final figure will depend on decisions taken during the deliberations, says Janet Clews, chairman of the Long Term Council Community Plan and Annual Plan Special Committee.

Major cost increases are in the areas of depreciation ($1 million) and interest on loans ($6.6million).

Other factors outside of the Council’s control, such as a 5.1% increase in construction costs and the price of oil hitting more than $119 a barrel have also impacted heavily.

“For example, almost half of the cost of re-sealing roads is impacted by rising oil prices,” says Councillor Clews.

“We have to manage these sorts of massive cost increases whilst also delivering high quality services that our communities want and expect,” she says.

“There is a fine balancing act between slashing budgets and lowering service standards to a level that upsets the community.”

While the Annual Plan sets the council’s budget for the coming financial year the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) outlines the direction and spending intentions for the next 10 years.

“It is important that the public know this is the third year of the LTCCP (adopted in 2006). We are reviewing work and projects that have already been consulted on and agreed, so we can’t deviate a long way from that plan,” says Councillor Clews.


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