Wairarapa News : May 11th 2011
22 WAIRARAPA NEWS, MAY 11, 2011 This Draft Annual Plan represents the third instalment of Council s 2009 - 2019 Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) adopted in 2009. The LTCCP sets the direction for Council s activities over a ten-year period and in doing so ful ls a requirement of the Local Government Act that Councils prepare a ten-year plan. The Annual Plan is an integral part of this process and in the draft version it proposes to the community what Council intends to do in its provision of services during the 12-month period covered by the Plan. The Annual Plan also describes how Council intends to nance its operations during this period. South Wairarapa District Council is a no-frills organisation that is focussed on maintaining and upgrading the District s infrastructural assets. Assets such as roading, wastewater treatment and disposal and water supply are signi cant items of expenditure particularly in these challenging economic times. While the global economy appears to be recovering slowly from the nancial challenges of recent years the local economy is still working its way through the problems. The Draft Annual Plan consultation process provides an opportunity for Council to engage with the community to review and prioritise its planned expenditure for 2011/12. Council faces a number of challenges as it moves into the future. These challenges include a need to begin the process of upgrading the treatment and disposal of wastewater and also meeting increasing demands for upgrades to its water supply. In the current economic climate Council is very aware of the need to operate as e ciently as possible with less funding being available from central government agencies. During the year covered by this Annual Plan there are likely to be changes to key pieces of legislation that impact on Council activities. The new Food Act is expected to come into e ect which will mean a change for food businesses in how they manage food safety requirements. Council sta are working closely with other councils in the region and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority to help business owners make a smooth transition to the new requirements. The Alcohol Reform Bill is also expected to be passed into legislation. Again, sta are engaging with other councils and the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand to stay at the forefront of any changes. The second round of amendments to the Resource Management Act and Building Act are also expected in the 2011/12 year. In both cases there is a focus on streamlining the legislation and making sure it is achieving the intended outcomes. The South Wairarapa District Council has received good feedback about its building and resource consent processing and will be focussing on building on that good work as we implement any changes that are required. This year the Council will also undertake the biannual accreditation as a Building Consent Authority. The organisationalchangesthathave occurredduringthepastyear have been designed and implemented to create an organisation that is professional, customer-focussed and well-positioned to provide an excellent level of service to its community. The setting is one of continual improvement and Council O cers are constantly reviewing processes and procedures with a view to increased e ectiveness. Changes in the provision of funding from government agencies continue to be factored into Council planning including: The reintroduction of Ministry of Health subsidy (worth approximately $176,000 this year) for water supply upgrades. This subsidy was previously withdrawn, which delayed the improvements planned for increased reservoir storage capacity for the Featherston/Greytown communities. The removal of New Zealand Transport Agency subsidy funding for road seal extension work which has more than halved the funding now available for this programme. As it looks at ways to deliver services more e ciently and e ectively Council has been actively examining opportunities for the sharing of services with other Councils. South Wairarapa District Council has been proactive in this area. It is a part of the Wairarapa Library Service which serves the communities of South Wairarapa and Carterton. The Wairarapa Combined District Plan is an example of cooperation between Councils and is now operative. Similarly, Council has been successful in recently implementing a combined solid waste management contract that re ects shared services arrangements between the Wairarapa Councils. Discussions are continuing between all the Councils in the Greater Wellington Region in regard to shared services. The Local Government elections in October 2010 resulted in a Council that saw only one new Council member join the elected representatives. The newly returned Council is very aware of the issues and it is actively striving to build on the work already undertaken in the previous triennium. The Draft Annual Plan for 2011-2012 proposes a total rates increase of 3.70% which is less than the current rate of in ation of 4.50% (as at 31 March 2011). This level of rates increase re ects a balance between maintaining our momentum with replacing or upgrading essential services and deferring some of the more discretionary items. Current levels of service will continue to be maintained. As usual, we welcome your views on our Draft Annual Plan. This is an important opportunity for you to have your say on the future priorities for our District. Formal submissions on our Draft Plan close on Tuesday, 7 June 2011. We would encourage you all to take an interest in and contribute to this fundamental round of Council s planning and decision-making processes. 3694239AA Introduction Signed: Adrienne Staples Mayor Dr Jack Dowds Chief Executive O cer k d 2.
May 18th 2011