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

 

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news