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Planning for the year ahead

From next week, Kāpiti Coast District Council will be seeking feedback from locals on the plans for the coming year.

Mayor K Gurunathan says that since adopting its long term plan after significant community input in mid-2015, Council has been working to deliver on the vision of a vibrant, diverse and thriving Kāpiti.

“Our planning for 2017/18 reflects our work following through on our long term commitments while responding to more recent changes,” says Mayor Gurunathan.

“In the coming year we need to carry out additional work resulting from new legislative changes, improve our community resilience in an environment impacted by recent earthquakes and severe weather events while improving our ability to deliver on our economic development strategy, particularly in light of the opening of the new Expressway.

“We’re keen to get feedback on our plans, and encourage people to take the time to find out about the plans for the year ahead and let us know what they think.

“The proposed plans for the coming year mean an average rates increase for 2017/18 of 5.9%.  That’s higher than the long term plan’s 4.9% forecast for the coming year, and the 5.5% maximum rates increase Council set for itself in the financial strategy, and that’s not a decision councillors have taken lightly.

“The vast majority of the 5.9% increase proposed is largely unavoidable, with the funding of depreciation and inflation accounting for 4.5% and new compliance costs a further 0.2%.  This gives us a very narrow margin in which to accommodate any other initiatives.

“We’re keenly aware that affordability is an issue for many in our district, and we’ve worked hard to keep the proposed rates increase as low as possible. 

“Our rates/water rates remission policy and government rates rebates continue to be available for those on low incomes or facing extreme hardship, and we encourage people in need to make full use of these options.

“Following strong feedback in the past two years that we shouldn’t cut back on services in order to reduce rates, this year we only included two minor proposals along these lines.  We’re eager to hear suggestions from our residents and ratepayers though, and we’re specifically inviting people to suggest areas where they’d be happy to see a reduced level of service.”

From Friday 31 March an easy-to-read consultation document on the 2017/18 annual plan will be available on the Council website and printed copies can be picked up at Council service centres and libraries.  Submissions can be made online, by email or post, or by dropping off feedback forms at Council service centres or libraries until 1 May 2017.