INDEPENDENT NEWS

Line by line review of Auckland Council budget

Published: Tue 14 Dec 2010 04:16 PM
Media release
14 December 2010
Line by line review of Auckland Council budget
Auckland councillors continued their review of the region’s budget and activities for the next financial year (1 July 2011 – 30 June 2012) today.
The combined long-term plans from legacy councils across the region would see some $1.5 billion worth of investment in capital projects in the city over the next two years including significant investment in preparation for Rugby World Cup 2011, which will have lasting benefit to the region.
Strategy and Finance Committee Chair, Councillor Penny Webster yesterday called for a line-by-line review of the council’s budget which took place today.
It is the first time councillors have had the opportunity to look at the region’s plans and corresponding budget and rates adjustment.
Yesterday, Auckland Mayor Len Brown outlined his desire for a maximum rates increase target of 4.9 per cent and said that there needed “to be a balance between what we need to achieve and being prudent.”
“We have started work to look at how this level of rates can actually be reduced,” said Councillor Webster.
“We need to maintain the momentum to address the budget as we have a lot of work to do to reduce the projected rates increase from 8.9 per cent from the Auckland Transition Agency, to the 4.9 per cent - or less - the Mayor is seeking to achieve.”
“We have a significant programme of capital works on the horizon, much larger than any council has delivered in the past. We are looking at how realistic the planned timing of these capital projects is, and this may enable us to reduce rates.”
Auckland Council Chief Executive, Doug MacKay will report back to the councillors in mid-February the progress on efforts to achieve cost savings within the organisation in the areas of procurement, more efficient work processes and how the council utilises its assets for best value.
The proposed rates increase, budget and work programme will be refined by officers and considered again by the councillors in mid-February before a Draft Annual Plan is released for public feedback on 28 February.
Council will consider the public feedback before a final plan is confirmed in June 2011.
ENDS

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