Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Council congratulated for finances though stuck in the past

Hamilton Council congratulated for finances though stuck in the past


Though the Employers and Manufacturers Association has congratulated the Hamilton Council for outperforming its financial targets and getting its finances back into shape, it also said the Council seems to think it is still operating under the former Local Government Act.

At today’s Council hearings on its Annual Plan EMA’s Peter Atkinson advised the council it has a rare opportunity to change over its rating system to one based on capital value.

“Hamilton Council’s goal to balance its books by 2017 looks achievable, and we warmly congratulate the council on this,” Peter Atkinson told the Council hearings today.

“Saving $15 million this year and keeping debt down is a creditable achievement,” he said.

“But the 3.8 per cent increase in rates proposed is too high.

“While we strongly support the Council’s plan to review its rating system there appears no willingness to remove the business differential.

“Such a change would result in a fairer and more efficient rating system by aligning rates more closely with the benefits that ratepayers receive, and also with how other councils finance their activities.

“In not giving this due consideration the Council seems to be operating under the old Local Government Act.

“The role of local government used to be to achieve the ‘social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the community’ but these words were replaced in the 2012 Act by the words: ‘to meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.’

“Using rates differentials previously was said to be to help achieve a fair and equitable distribution in the general rate between categories of land having regard to matters of ‘social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the community,’ but this is no longer the basis for setting rates.

“Since this is the case, the existing Hamilton business rates differential policy must also be called into question. A re-think is required.


“EMA also supports Council introducing a Uniform Annual General Charge in the interests of its residents and ratepayers.

“Council’s response in the Plan to its ‘unsustainable’ debt levels which we support, includes the following:
· Return to surplus by 2017

· Limit debt levels to about the same level for the next 10 years
· Cut operating budgets by $11.7 million and reduce staff numbers
· Increase some user charges to bring in an extra $3.5 million per year
· Sell some assets and review others for possible sale.

“In our prescription these steps should be followed by moves phased over several years including:
· A capital value system of rating
· Reduced business differentials
· Introducing a Uniform Annual General Charge
· Water by metering
· Sewerage by volumetric measurement.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Digital Evolution: Scoop Independent News Launches "Operation Chrysalis"

From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.

"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.

"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them." More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news