Annual Plan Postponed To Consider COVID-19 Impact
Hamilton City Council will delay adopting its 2020/21 Annual Plan and setting rates for the coming year.
The Council will adopt its draft Annual Plan which sets next year’s budget on 30 July – a month later than originally planned. Rates for the 2020/2021 year will also be finalised at that time.
Mayor Paula Southgate said COVID-19 has “fundamentally changed the landscape” and the Council needed to respond.
“We would be foolish to box along as though it is business as usual when it’s absolutely not,” she said.
“Council needs to play its part in rebuilding Hamilton’s economy and community and Councillors need to use the tools we have to do that. We need to know very clearly what the financial position of Council is, what we can do to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on ratepayers and residents, what work needs to continue and what needs to go on hold.”
The Council has already announced a sweeping 12-point recovery plan and prepared a pitch to secure government money to help the city withstand the impacts of COVID-19, but Mayor Southgate said more time would allow the Council to consider more options and think more broadly about the challenges facing the community.
“I think taking an extra month to do that, and do that properly, is the most sensible way forward.”
Councillors have made it clear they will be seeking feedback from the community on what is proposed in the Annual Plan, she said.
Elected Members will consider the draft Annual Plan on 10 June, with consultation likely to run from 22 June to 10 July.