Delivering on what we said we would do, and a strong focus on affordability and the environment are the key themes for the Annual Plan 2019/20. It continues the focused investment in water infrastructure and includes a proposed rates increase of 4.36% for the 2019/20 year - 0.32% above that projected in the 2018 Long Term Plan.
There are four key changes from the Long Term Plan 2018-28.
A proposal to provide a suspensory loan of $250,000 from the Rural Ward Funds to Water Holdings CHB Ltd to enable them to work collaboratively with partners to identify water security options, is one of the key proposals that Council is seeking the community’s feedback on. The suspensory loan, with strict criteria will not be provided to revisit the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme as it was known. Working in partnership to address the environmental, social and economic challenges and opportunities that water security creates, is the primary driver of the suspensory loan to support Water Holdings CHB to be part of the solution to address water security for Central Hawke’s Bay.
Project THRIVE highlighted how passionate our community is about protecting our patch of Central Hawke’s Bay paradise. Council listened, and in response have development an Environmental and Sustainability Strategy, which feedback is sought on from the community as part of the 2019/20 Annual Plan consultation. Four priorities of managing our impact on waterways, increasing recycling and reducing waste to landfill, conserving water and managing for climate change are identified in the strategy. Council wants to hear any other great ideas that should be included within the strategy.
Managing the impacts and affordability of new rateable values set in late 2018 for Central Hawke’s Bay, is the third key area that Council seeks feedback on. Changes to the Revenue and Financing Policy are proposed to improve the fairness from the impact new rating values have on the incidence of rating across the District.
A proposal to establish a regional Disaster Relief Trust between the five Hawke’s bay Local Authorities is the fourth change that Council seeks the community’s feedback on. Led by the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, establishing the Trust will allow for the mechanisms for donations to be received immediately as a Charity to be in place, should a major event occur. This will also allow for funds to be distributed back to the community as quickly as possible.
This year’s rates are very close to what we proposed in the 2018 Long Term Plan – a success for a District with very limited funding sources and many challenges ahead requiring bold leadership.
For ease of reading we have split the supporting documents for this consultation into the following four documents:
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