As some of you may know, the Council’s Long Term Council Community Plan is now out for consultation. You now have until the 18th May to make a submission.
The document and associated information can be found at:
Some of you may have put in an initial submission. In order for your submission to be considered as part of councillors’ formal deliberations, you will need to re-submit your submission, with any additional points that you might like to make after you have seen the draft.
I would also strongly recommend that you make an oral submission. It is a really effective way of convincing councillors of your point of view.
There are a large number of issues for you to consider, some that you might think are important include:
• Real Rates will be set at 2.38% for 2009/2010, 5.48% for 2010/11, 3.67% for 2011/2012 and between 1-2% for the following years. Some people will pay more depending on the effect of the rating differential
• Funding is allocated for the Indoor Community Centre at Cobham. The Review recently conducted by John Anderson confirmed Cobham as the preferred site, but you may want to consider whether you want the centre funded now or in the future
• There will be cuts to the library budget, but not to core services or to the collection but things like security and marketing (following on from feedback from the initial stage of consultation)
• The Heritage grants will be reduced from $329,000 to $200,000 rather than being deleted all together following feedback from the public
• There is only new funding for one community centre – at Khandallah but we will continue to assess community needs in other parts of the city and will look at investing in other centres in subsequent years
• Small increases in user charges for things like rubbish bags, DVD books and audio books at the library as well as entry to recreation centres
• A new artificial turf next to Rugby League Park with five further from 2013 if this one proves successful
• Reducing opening hours at swimming pools where few people are using them and are looking at partnership arrangements to increase capacity
• Maintain our current network of tracks but will not invest further in them for 3 years
• A further loan to the Karori Sanctuary for contingencies ($480,000) on their Visitor Centre project and $300,000 to remunerate Trustees in return for tightened financial controls and a new governance structure.
We will also be consulting on how we collect and pay for our recycling. At the moment, the use of the green bins is the preferred option after strong feedback from the public that we shouldn’t get rid of them.
We have tried to trim the budget to keep rates under control rather than engaging in large scale cuts. We are all sensitive to the fact that we are now in a recession and that many Wellingtonians will be under some pressure and will have limited income to pay for more rates, but also that service cuts may make things more difficult for others. Tell us whether you think this is the correct way to go.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I will try to answer them myself or get one of the officers to do so.
Wellington City Councillor (Lambton Ward)