Auckland Council is inviting ratepayers to have their say on its proposed 2020/2021 annual budget.
The four-week budget consultation focuses on issues around rates, growth and local priorities.
Suggested topics include: an increase to the base service waste management charge, changes to some targeted rates, improving fee transparency for building and resource consents and fee increases to maintain cost recovery.
The annual budget proposal includes a $2.7 billion investment in capital assets and
“laying the foundations for an increased focus on managing our environment and responding to the challenges posed by climate change”.
Mayor Phil Goff says that climate change-focused initiatives in the budget include an investment of more than $700 million in water and environmental projects, decarbonising the council’s vehicle fleet and cutting carbon emissions by almost 20 percent over the next five years.
“This will prepare us for more substantive changes in the next 10-year Budget once we agree on the Climate Action Framework,” Mr Goff says.
Auckland Council’s Finance and Performance Committee chair, Cr Desley Simpson, says the cumulative annual savings of $63 million by 2020/2021 outlined in this budget demonstrate a focus on “saving money while providing effective, efficient services”.
Alongside the annual budget consultation, Aucklanders are being invited to have their say on the independent review into council-controlled organisations.
Auckland Council has appointed an independent panel to review how well its council-controlled organisations are working. The review covers Auckland Transport, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Panuku Development Auckland, Regional Facilities Auckland, and Watercare.
The consultation period began on February 21 and continues until March 22.
Feedback can be given online at akhaveyoursay.nz or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback forms and supporting information are in libraries, and the Orewa Service Centre in Centreway Road.
Following consultation, all feedback will be considered and the 2020/2021 Annual Budget will be adopted in June.
Local board seeks ‘early engagement’
Although formal feedback on local boards’ plans will not be called for until June, there is a chance to submit ideas between now and the end of March.
Local board plans are strategic, three-year plans. The early consultation will enable local boards to identify and prioritise the key outcomes, initiatives and projects that are of most value to their communities.
This information will be considered as each of the 21 local boards draft their plans for the 2020-2023 period, for publication at the end of this year.
They will include focus areas or outcomes for the local boards to concentrate on such as transport, the environment, diversity, working with mana whenua, local economic development, climate issues and ensuring local community facilities and parks meet the needs of their communities.
Info: go to akhaveyoursay.co.nz/lovelocal to post an idea or find out more.
Hibiscus & Bays Local Board members will also have a stand at the Orewa Sandcastle Competition, Sunday March 22 on Moana Resreve, Orewa, 12noon to 3pm.