SPCA staff and animal friends at Chest Hospital
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says consultation delivered a great result for Wellingtonians.
"We asked people to tell us what they thought of the draft plan and we received a record number of submissions. We've listened to the issues people raised and have added in funding for a range of projects including Te Papa, the Chest Hospital and Miramar town centre."
Rates for next year will increase on average by 3.6 percent, down from the 4.1 percent increase we initially proposed.
"The projects we included in the Long-Term Plan will deliver on our strategic vision - Towards Wellington 2040: Smart Capital - and will enhance Wellington's attractiveness as a place where people want to live, work and play," says Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.
The plan includes city resilience and economic development projects, cultural grants, the development of cycleways, improvements to public space and investment in suburban town centre upgrades and community facilities.
You Said, We Said
Here are the topics we received the most submissions on, and what we plan to do.
- Many submitters didn't want us to reduce funding to Te Papa. We've decided to keep funding for Te Papa at $2.25 million annually, and to work with them to ensure our city receives maximum benefit from this funding.
- A new pool - we received submissions requesting that we fund a new deep-water pool at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre in Kilbirnie. Because of the $20 million cost, we decided not to fund the project. However, we will work with the people who want the pool to look at other funding sources.
- Rates levels - most submitters were comfortable with our proposed rates targets. Some wanted lower rates. We plan to reduce the rates increase to 3.6 percent in 2012/13 and to reduce the amount we spend on renewing non-critical infrastructure. This is one of the savings identified by the Council's Financial Sustainability Working Party - a group of Councillors tasked with reviewing our expenditure for the next year. Their aim is to make savings to enable us to fund new projects.
- Chest Hospital - we received many submissions requesting that we strengthen the Chest Hospital for the SPCA. We plan to spend $900,000 on this. The SPCA will meet more than half the cost of this work.
- Earthquake resilience projects - we proposed to invest in strengthening our water network, roads and buildings. These projects were ranked as a high priority by submitters. We have increased our budget and will strengthen more buildings.
- Clyde Quay - many submitters supported spending money on improving Clyde Quay. As well as improving public spaces at Clyde Quay, we will look into a feasibility study for developing the area.
- Miramar town centre - submitters wanted to see the town centre upgraded. We have allocated $900,000 to do this.
- Encroachments - we received a number of submissions opposing changes to rental charges from landowners who use Council road reserve. We agreed to keep rentals at the current rate, with an adjustment for inflation, and to review our policy.
We received many other submissions on a variety of other issues and we will respond to submitters this month.