Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Council has already received 90 submissions. “There have been some exciting ideas for boosting the economy, caring for the most vulnerable, keeping the arts sector vibrant and showcasing our natural environment. Some communities such as Khandallah have organised meetings on specific issues. A cycling forum raised issues of slower progress than desirable. Areas for further savings have also been suggested.”
“I strongly urge Wellingtonians to read what’s proposed to deliver on our strategic vision, Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital, prioritising resilience, the economy and a well-managed city. Have your say. Nothing is finalised yet and we do change or confirm our plans in response to this valuable public input.”
The plan proposes several new initiatives to help ensure the Capital remains one of the world’s most liveable cities – and remains affordable.
These projects, which aim to boost the Capital’s economy by targeting the city’s strengths, include Smart Energy partnership initiatives, ‘greening’ work on the processional route from Te Pukeahu (Memorial Park) to the waterfront, and Miramar Peninsula planning work.
If approved, the plan would see a $9 million reduction in Council spending compared to this second year in the 2012–2022 Long-term Plan. The proposed rates rise is currently 2.8 percent. Further savings are also being sought to keep the rates rise to 2.5 percent.
Some modest changes to service levels are proposed in order to help make savings and achieve the Council’s target level of rate rise. They include changes to some branch library opening hours and to the Leisure Card scheme, and reducing funding for hazardous tree removals.
Opportunities for increased income have also been identified – these include introducing pay and display parking at the Botanic Garden and Freyberg Pool, changing the operating model of the crèche at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre and introducing paid permits for taxis using taxi stands.
A range of fees and charges would also change as part of the proposed plan. Because many services are supported by rates, modest increases are proposed in some fees to avoid a higher rate rise. These include fee increases for the landfill, general admission and swim memberships at pools, and some burial and cremation, public health and water charges. Concessions for eligible people remain.
“Your Council wants to hear from the Wellington community, both residents and businesses,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.
Full details of the Draft Annual Plan, and how to have your say, are available from:
Draft Annual Plan 2013/14
Or you can pick up a summary from libraries or the Council offices at 101 Wakefield Street.