In answer to the requests of a number of Elected Members (me included) our CEO has organised a briefing tomorrow to avail us an opportunity to understand the operational budget of Council.
This is where the majority of our spend occurs and traditionally the administration under the direction of the CEO each year creates contributes to this exclusively. In other words – no contribution from elected members.
Tomorrow we get a chance to review all the key services and the associated operating budget to achieve those services. Our management have indicated they will take on board any observations we might have as to the services provided or how we provide them in shaping the next budget.
This will prove an interesting day.
There have been suggestions form some of us (elected members) that we should cull our number of libraries, get rid of our swimming pool or replace it with an indoor pool, reduce the number of community centres we have and I dare say a number of other ideas.
This briefing should allow us to see how well patronised these and other services are, to determine their value to our community. On that score we will have an opportunity I believe to anticipate what reaction we might get from our community of a service was removed or curtailed. Then we would find out whether the concern out there is rate rises or services provided.
So! Will we see wholesale changes to our operating budget?
That remains to be seen.