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Hearings start next week on 2008 Annual Plan

8 May 2008

Hearings start next week on 2008 Annual Plan

The Christchurch City Council received 536 submissions on the Draft Annual Plan 2008-09 and Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) 2006-16 following a month long public consultation period.

The Annual Plan is how the Council annually updates the LTCCP forecast for the fiscal year commencing 1 July, using the most up-to-date financial and project information available. The LTCCP shows what the Council will be doing over the 10-year period of the LTCCP, why it is going to do these things, and what the costs will be.

Hearings and Council deliberations on the submissions will be held next week and the Council is likely to adopt the Annual Plan/Amendments to the 2006-16 LTCCP at its meeting on 25 June 2008.

A large number of the submissions (142) related to the extension of the tram route in the central city and the variation to the City Mall plan to allow for the operation of trams

There were only 14 submissions on the proposed rate increase, which Mayor Bob Parker believes indicates ratepayers are satisfied that the Council is keeping rates to a reasonable level while delivering value for dollar.

“The plan proposes an average residential rate rise of just over five per cent
which is half the rate increase signalled in the 2006/-16 Long Term Council Community Plan. The Council has been very clear that rate increases were to be kept down to that five per cent level,” he said.

The other topic that attracted a number of submissions (340) was housing, mainly in relation to the rental increases for the Council’s social housing.

Mr Parker said he accepted the proposed rent increase was an emotive issue, however the setting of housing rentals was quite outside the Annual Plan process.

“City Housing is self funding, or rates neutral, and the increase will ensure it is sustainable, to provide for necessary maintenance and housing stock renewal. This is not done as part of the Annual Plan/LTCCP process.

“The Council is, however, totally committed to its role as a provider of social housing, and is the country’s second largest provider of social housing - behind Housing New Zealand,” he said.


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