Following on from my last blog post, there are two observations I believe warrant making in this platform. The first is welcome to our world and please stay with us.
I will deal with the latter in a later blog post.
With some of the observations that our ratepayers have made on this years draft budget I say welcome to our world. You are experiencing what we (the councillors) experience each year.
Elected members historically focus only on new initiatives in our budget deliberations. New initiatives in the operating projects amount this year to $ 1.2 m. This is very small compared to our general rates income of some $ 38 m.
Ongoing operating programs are reviewed regularly by elected members during what is known as regular service reviews. They are therefore not addressed at budget time . This includes a number of initiatives in our environment strategy.
Things like maintaining our parks and gardens. That includes the Village Green. So while we have been criticised by some for not allowing maintenance of the Village green in our budget we have. It just is not highlighted. Showing the maintenance of every one of our parks and gardens woudl make for a very complex budget and therefore not shown.
Then there are new initiatives such as the Brownhill Creek flood mitigation project, funded through capital works and loan funding. The biggest single environmental project I suggest we have ever done.
Talking roads, rates and rubbish which some have asked us to focus on. We have been asked to spend more in this area. After a service review we will actually be spending some $ 1.0 m pa more on reactive footpath repair. Requests to resurface Kenilworth Road. It is in the budget.
Yes. Welcome to our world.
We elected members focus on just 1/40th of the overall budget. You get to comment on that too.
This is not easy for sure but please stay with us. If you do you will become more intimate with the budget and it’s real depth.