We’re looking ahead, while also working on today’s challenges. 

Covid has had profound effects on our community, as it has throughout the country. 

A large package of Government funding for shovel-ready and Jobs for Nature projects, combined with significant Council co-funding, means we have a huge opportunity to create jobs and stimulate the economy while also delivering our community’s aspirations for environmental gains, greater infrastructure resilience, and improved community wellbeing. 

The Council has an important role to play in supporting our region’s recovery by continuing to invest in our District. 

However, there are significant costs associated with our role in rebuilding our economy. For the past six years, we have kept rate revenue increases at less than 3% a year (excluding a population growth allowance).  

This year, the Council drove a 0% rate revenue increase in order to ease the immediate financial stress many households were under in the height of the pandemic. Unfortunately that means we are starting the coming financial year on the back foot. Just to continue to offer our current levels of service and meet inflationary pressures requires a rates increase. That's before accounting for our contribution to the economic stimulus projects, any improvements to services, infrastructure or facilities, or the added costs of implementing significant Government reforms. 

In March and April next year we will consult on our Long Term Plan for 2021 – 2031. That’s our forward programme of work and budgets looking 10 years out, aiming to ensure our District can flourish in the future. 

The seeds we sow now, the investment we make in our District’s infrastructure, environment, community and cultural wellbeing, will bear fruit in future. We want to make sure we are doing the groundwork to ensure our recovery from the effects of Covid. However, we know affordability is a key concern for many in our community. 

Your participation in the public feedback process next year will be critical in helping us strike the right balance. 

Some of the important challenges we need to rise to over the next 10 years include: 

  • Rates affordability 
  • Climate change 
  • Housing provision and affordability 
  • Central Government reforms

Keep an eye on Newsline and our website for updates, including information on how to get involved in the conversation.