Auckland Council’s 10-year Budget, which is open for feedback from 22 February, is an important time for Aucklanders to have their say on their spending priorities for the city, says Councillor Hon. Chris Fletcher QSO.
The Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa ward councillor says COVID-19 continues to impact Auckland but the proposed budget outlines one way forward despite the financial shortfalls the pandemic has brought.
“Like many businesses and organisations throughout New Zealand, we have seen a sharp drop in our revenue,” says Councillor Fletcher.
“Despite this, the council must continue with contractually committed projects, provide for renewals of existing assets and provide the necessary infrastructure to support growth. This challenge requires us to continue to find savings, while maintaining the essential services Aucklanders rely on as well as supporting the regional economic recovery.”
Consultation on the budget is open until 22 March 2021 and Councillor Fletcher says it’s important that the council hears from a wide range of voices.
“The towns and villages in the Albert-Eden-Puketāpapa ward all have their own well established and unique identities. It is important we hear from people across the ward on the issues that matters most to them and for this to be addressed within a regional context.”
Councillor Fletcher says balancing the need to support growth and funding local improvements within the current financial challenges while remaining affordable for residents will guide her decision making.
“All expenditure on infrastructure must be well planned and prioritised, with the objective of delivering equity across the region and a well-functioning city given the growth we have and continue to experience,” she says.
“We must remain committed to continuing to serve our communities with essential and key services, like parks, playgrounds and sports facilities, libraries and community facilities, rubbish and recycling collections, roading and public transport but balance that with issues of affordability for ratepayers.”
The 10-year Budget commits to an average 3.5 per cent annual general rates increase over the decade, with a one-off 5 per cent rise for the next financial year.
“There will need to be some difficult decisions taken so we need to hear from Aucklanders. Please have your say.”
Have your say
For more information visit: akhaveyoursay.nz/recoverybudget