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Key week of meetings for 10-Year Plan

Key week of meetings for 10-Year Plan

7 December 2011

The direction of Hamilton city for the next 10 years, and the rating system it has will be the focus of a week long series of meetings at Council from Monday.

Five days of meetings from 12-16 December will see Council making key decisions about what should go forward into the city’s draft 10-Year Plan, as well as the rating system the city should have. Decisions made will progress into the draft Plan, and be formally shared with the public for their views from next March. The 2012-22 Plan takes effect from July 2012.

At the top of the meeting agenda will be consideration of Council’s high debt levels, the need to balance the books, allowing for a slowing economy, and how to keep future rates increases affordable.

The meetings follow on from those held from September to October when all areas of Council business were scrutinised to see where operational savings could be made. At those meetings Council flagged up areas where services could be stopped or reduced, grants cut, fees and charges increased, project spending cut or reduced, and new initiatives funded. Possible asset sales were also debated.

The public has been actively sharing their views throughout, at pre-consultation meetings, through the media, at public forums at the start of all meetings, and at online forums on http://getinvolved.hcc.govt.nz/smartthinking. A comprehensive consultation process around proposed changes to the city’s rating system was also run, which saw record numbers of submissions made.

Mayor Julie Hardaker says: “Council has a difficult act to manage, needing to balance financial robustness with the need to keep rate increases at a level people can afford. At the same time we need to ensure the city continues to grow and meet the needs of those who live here.

“Strong Council leadership and good governance will be at the forefront of our decision making to ensure as city we can look forward to a strong and financially stable future.”

“We are aware the public has a high interest in what we will be discussing, and invite all who are interested to attend these meetings, as well as making sure they get involved when the time for formal consultation gets underway in mid-March next year.”

The initial part of the week will take the form of informal workshops, with formal Council meetings and decision making taking place later in the week.

ENDS

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