Franklin responds to annual budget plans

Publish Date : 11 May 2023

Franklin residents have identified maintaining parks and community facilities, and protecting waterways and the environment as their priorities in Auckland Council annual budget submissions.

More than 41,000 submissions were received, 1142 from Franklin.

Board chair Angela Fulljames says consultation also addressed local board priorities, with 76 per cent of respondents supporting all or most.

“We received 862 responses to a targeted rate for trails, 48 per cent in support, 41 per cent opposed and 11 per cent don’t know or other.

“The information will help shape our agreement with the governing body – which sets out how council reflects our priorities, and includes information on budgets, services, and performance measures,” she says.

The board consulted on funding its economic development projects, youth engagement, Papakura Stream and Manukau Harbour restoration, community partnership funding, and Coastal Rescue Services, with 38 per cent support for all, and 36 per cent for most.

“People have sent us a clear message,” Fulljames says. “Ngāti Tamaoho in particular have called for a focus on our people and te taiao (environment).”

With the council’s response to budget pressures requiring Franklin to cut operating spending by $796,000, the board must prioritise, and Fulljames says the message around assets and the environment is clear.

“Our people say pausing environmental initiatives will see the gains we’ve made lost, but that it is time to focus on funding what is necessary rather than nice.

“There’s a preference for funding that benefits the community not selected groups, for communities to help themselves, for support that generates funding from others, and for libraries as community hubs.”

On regional questions, Franklin was more likely than other southern areas to support selling airport shares, containing rates and making cuts, although there was still more support for proceeding with none or some of the initiatives.

The same was true around airport shares, with 35 per cent for, 30 per cent for a partial sale, and 25 per cent for no sale.

Fulljames says supporters say a sale is sensible, but opponents call the move short-sighted.

Franklin was 30 per cent for the proposed 4.66 per cent increase, 14 per cent for higher with more debt and seven per cent for higher and less debt - more than half of all submitters.

The proposal to budget $20 million a year to improve future storm responses was supported.

The board will approve its agreement in June and its work programmes in July. Budget feedback will be provided before the governing body sets the budget next month.

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