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Whanganui District Council unanimously adopts 2020/21 Annual Plan

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Whanganui District Council unanimously voted to formally adopt its 2020/21 Annual Plan at its meeting on Tuesday, 23 June 2020.

Mayor Hamish McDouall says he was pleased with the level of engagement considering consultation took place during COVID-19 restrictions.

"I would like to thank the community for its input to the annual plan via the consultation process and to all of those who presented in person under COVID-19 restrictions. Thank you for your contribution to this document and for participating in democracy in such a direct way."

Mayor McDouall said that by persevering with the annual plan consultation the Council had been able to respond promptly to the swift changes the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the community.

"We have been able to reduce the original proposed average rates increase from 3.9 percent to 1.4 percent by reducing our loan repayments for 2020/21 and by making savings in the coming year’s budget where we could. This is our second-to-lowest rates rise this century.

"In addition we are just about to finish consultation on a rates relief package to provide additional support alongside the Annual Plan," Mayor McDouall said.

"Overall, our plan for the year has not differed significantly from the Long-Term Plan 2018-28 but we have allocated additional funding for climate change, housing and digital connectivity.

"These are important issues for our community that need to be addressed right now."

Funding for required safety improvements to Whanganui Airport are also included in the plan along with a reconfirmation of the Council’s prior financial commitment to supporting roofing the Cooks Gardens velodrome.

"We are conscious that the Council is a key part of any economic recovery and we want to respond to the needs of our community. We know that by undertaking our work programme the Council will continue to provide jobs and economic stimulus in the district," Mayor McDouall said.

Rates for each individual property will vary as this is a revaluation year. Because of relative valuation changes the rates on some properties might increase above the average, while other properties will have a low rise or even a drop in annual rates.

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