Council unveils aggressive plan to cut costs
KCDC Mayor Jenny Rowan says rates rises will be on average less than 5% across the district over the next 20 years under an aggressive cost-cutting plan being considered by Council.
For the first year the projected average rise will be 6.5%, which is substantially lower than earlier suggestions of 12%.
The financial strategy, which has taken $50m out of projected capital expenditure over the next ten years, was presented to the first of a series of workshops on the Long Term Plan (LTP) .
‘We have listened’
Councillor Ross Church told the meeting “Economic times dictate we need to be prudent, the community has told us this and we have listened. This strategy is the result of diligent and painstaking work by Council staff to find savings.”
And the Mayor says under the proposed plan savings could be made without cuts to services and no changes or deferments of the Council’s five priority projects, which include the new Aquatic Centre, Civic Building Upgrade, Water Supply/Water Meters project, Economic Development and managing the impacts of the Expressway.
Ms Rowan says:“This strategy will allow is to maintain, and in some cases increase services, keep debt at manageable levels and aggressively repay debt in the later years.
“It will also enable us to more fairly spread the cost of investments in community facilities and infrastructure over future generations.”
‘Review and re-focus’
Mayor Rowan says the drive to minimise costs is based on a major review and re-focus of Council activities.
“The Council has made a strategic decision to set just five priorities and that has allowed us to review our plans and take $50m out of our capital spending programme over the next 10 years. It has further allowed us to better plan for the next two decades, confident we can ease the burden for ratepayers,”says the Mayor.
The LTP workshops, which are open to the public, will continue weekly until early March. At the end of the process, a draft document will be produced and released for public consultation between mid April and mid May.
For further media inquiries, please phone Warwick Read on 027 5555 718 or Anna Kenna on 0274 765 046.