Councillors will weigh up the big issues shaping next year’s budget as Christchurch City Council prepares its Draft Annual Plan 2022/23.
Councillors are meeting on 14 December to discuss the main items that will be included in the Draft Annual Plan – the Council’s yearly budget that sets out what it plans to achieve over the coming financial year, and how it will be funded.
“This is the first time we’ve had this type of early discussion in a public forum. We’re always looking out for opportunities to make our decision-making more transparent and easy for the public to understand,” says Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale.
“Councillors will be discussing the operational and capital spending the Council will be doing in the 2022/23 Financial Year, and giving and receiving guidance to and from staff on what work needs to be done to get the Draft Annual Plan ready for public feedback next year.”
“Preparing a very first draft of next year’s Plan before Christmas is a healthy way to get all the issues on the radar early, and to get people thinking before we start consulting in 2022. We want to connect with people in our community who may not have had much interaction with us in the past, and having these talks out in the open is one way of doing that.”
Key issues on the table for inclusion in the Draft Annual Plan 2022/23 include:
“Most of the high profile financial decisions facing our city were already confirmed in the Long Term Plan 2021–31, so our draft Annual Plan is really our opportunity to show the progress we’re making on what we said we would do,” Mrs Baxendale says.
“The Council has made a lot of savings already, and the 2022/23 budget will be designed to keep us on track – delivering the basics, and doing it well, while keeping rates increases affordable and leaving us financial headroom for a rainy day.
“As a result of New Zealand’s change in approach to managing COVID-19 since the Long Term Plan was adopted in June, the environment we’re operating in has also changed quite a bit. That’s what our Annual Plan process is for – to keep our Long Term Plan agile and responsive.”
The Draft Annual Plan is scheduled to be adopted on 24 February 2022, with public consultation following in March.