Cashmore wants south heard

Budget charts a course for recovery

Publish Date : 22 Feb 2021
Cashmore wants south heard

Auckland Council’s 10-year Budget, open for submissions on 22 February, charts a path Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore says will put the city on the road to recovery.

The Franklin Ward councillor says COVID-19 continues to impact Auckland but the budget outlines a way forward despite the financial shortfalls the pandemic has brought.

“We are facing a huge revenue drop but there is critical work that has to be done.

“Sound financial management is important, but we have to maintain the services Aucklanders rely on and support economic recovery.”

Consultation on the budget is open until 22 March and Councillor Cashmore says it’s important that a wide range of voices is heard.

“Auckland has large rural areas in the north and south and I’d urge residents to get involved and tell us what is most important to them, because urban and rural concerns can differ.”

To make a submission visit before 22 March.

Councillor Cashmore says how improvements can be paid for during a time of financial pressure will be on the minds of decision-makers.

“The council has a recovery role and wants to invest in infrastructure because it creates jobs and long-term assets, but we are mindful of the need to keep costs as low and fair as possible for ratepayers.”

The 10-year Budget commits to an average 3.5 per cent general rates increase over the decade but with a one-off 5 per cent increase in the next financial year. That would mean a $1 million urban property’s rates would rise $135 a year.

Councillor Cashmore says it’s not an austerity budget. “Slashing everything would slow recovery and hinder the city, so instead we are seeing proposed infrastructure investment increasing over the 10 years, more for transport projects, housing development, and for stormwater and community facilities.”

At a local level he says Franklin Local Board will be reviewing its priorities to ensure they contribute to the right outcomes.

Board chair Andy Baker says continuing to advocate for investment in initiatives that address growth in Franklin will be critical.

“After widespread community input, the Franklin Local Board Plan sets out local objectives and key initiatives,” he says.

“As COVID-19’s impacts continue, not everything we want or need will be possible, so we encourage everyone to provide feedback as the council plans its budget.”

Despite council’s ability to build new facilities and expand services being limited, he says the board will continue to push projects with a strong business case, such as Karaka Sport Park.

To make a submission visit before 22 March.

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