Central Hawke’s Bay District Council have formally adopted the 2020-21 Annual Plan at today’s Ordinary Meeting of Council, which saw the Mayor and all Councillors meet together in Council’s Chambers for the first time post-COVID-19 lockdown.
The Annual Plan 2020-21 sets out the Council’s activities, plans and budgets for the year ahead and is produced in the years between Long Term Plans. Annual Plans give councils an opportunity to review and revise rates, budgets, projects and goals from those originally proposed in the Long Term Plan.
“Council has gone through a robust planning process to develop the 2020-21 Annual Plan, in line with year three of the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan,” says Councillor Brent Muggeridge, Chair of the Finance and Infrastructure Committee. “However, the impacts of COVID-19 and drought have meant we needed to be agile in our thinking to ensure we soften the blow of these events for residents and businesses, as much as possible.”
In April, Council endorsed the amendment of the draft Annual Plan and reduced the planned 2020/21 annual rates increase from what was intended to be 5.2% down to 3.7%. Central Hawke’s Bay’s residents can access a rates calculator here to access rates information for their property.
“The decision to make this reduction was vitally important in striking the right balance between offering some immediate term relief for those affected by the impacts of COVID-19 and the Drought, without significantly burdening future generations,” says Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay.
“We must continue in pushing forward with our Capital Investment projects for the benefit of the future of our District. By doing so, we create employment and support our economy, while continuing the good work so strongly founded on our community vision of a thriving Central Hawke’s Bay.”
With planning for the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan underway and pre-engagement due to commence in July 2020, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council did not consult with the community on the content of the 2020-21 Annual Plan. In accordance with the Local Government Act, a Council is not required to consult on an Annual Plan that does not include significant or material differences from the content of the Long Term Plan.
“Council made the decision that we would not formally consult on this year’s Annual Plan, because we would rather focus our attention on the big issues we need to address in the next Long Term Plan,” says Mayor Walker.
“This doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear from you – we do – and you can expect to have a robust conversation with us as part of the 2021 Long Term Plan consultation process in July this year, then again when we formally consult early in 2021.”
Included in the Annual Plan is continued work on the following strategic objectives identified by Elected Members as priorities at the beginning of the triennium.
Council will also place a heavy focus on the economic recovery of the District following the COVID-19 and drought events.
“I’m proud of the plan that Council has signed off today, which has forward thinking, affordability, and the wellness of our District at its heart,” says Mayor Walker.
“It’s a real achievement and testament to the work that has taken place under the pressures of COVID-19 and the drought.”
Once published, the 2020-21 Annual Plan will be available to read online here.
3 June 2020
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