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Adoption Of The Draft 2020/21 Annual Plan

Today the new Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury) adopted the draft 2020/21 Annual Plan. This plan will now be made available for the community to have your say on its contents. The 2020/21 year is the third year of the current Long-Term Plan (for 2021-2031) adopted under the previous Council, and the activity in the 2020/21 Annual Plan isn’t very different to that proposed back in 2018 when the Long-Term Plan was agreed.

What is different, however, is that this Council is moving decisively on a number of new fronts, looking out beyond this 2020/21 year and to the next Long-Term Plan (2021-31) and beyond.

“We do want to hear from the community on what is proposed in the draft 2020/21 Annual Plan, and we welcome all feedback on that plan. But what is really exciting the new Council is ‘what’s next?’” says Chair, Jenny Hughey.

“We are asking ourselves, and the community, where can we really build on what the previous Council has done, and accelerate the activity?

“At our first strategy session key themes, such as climate change and how Canterbury responds to it – like being resilient to increased frequency of natural hazard events; pushing a bolder, faster planting and regeneration programme across the region; investing in a sustainable public transport system; and increasing the visibility of our work to the community, all came through.

“Some of these – for example, replenishing flood protection reserves so we are ready for the next event – and keeping the momentum on the changes needed in our public transport system, are proposed to get underway in the draft 2020/21 Annual Plan period. Others will be developed over time if the community supports them, alongside other community-driven initiatives. To do this we need to hear from Cantabrians across the region about what a better future might look like.”

The draft 2020/21 Annual Plan and supporting financial tool, available on the Council’s website, shows an increase of 9.8% in total rates revenue (or $10.78 million) from the current year (2019/20). Not everyone’s rates will increase by this percentage as it is made up of targeted and general rates. Some ratepayers will have a lower increase and some higher depending on the particular mix of targeted and general rates for their property. For example, an urban Christchurch property with a capital value (CV) of $580k will have a $28pa increase. A rural Ashburton property with a CV of $5million will have an increase of $121pa. In some areas, the targeted component is less than last year, offsetting the general rate increase. (See table of sample properties*).

The bulk of the proposed rates income increase for 2020/21 is for improved public transport services, reserves to maintain and build flood protection infrastructure, and freshwater management.

The draft 2020/21 Annual Plan will be available for community feedback between 24 February and 25 March. Go to our Have Your Say online engagement site from Monday to give feedback on the draft or comment on the Council’s future focus. Community members can also contact their local area Councillor.

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