A budget that focuses on delivering core services while keeping rate rises to lower than signalled in the Long Term Plan will be considered by Christchurch City Council next week.
The Council is meeting on Tuesday to finalise its 2019/20 Annual Plan, which sets out the organisation’s work programme for the next 12 months and how it plans to finance it.
“The 2018-28 Long Term Plan that we adopted last year forecast an average overall rate increase of 5.5 per cent for the 2019/20 financial year, but we went into this budget process determined to get that rate increase down,’’ says Mayor Lianne Dalziel.
“The budget that staff will be presenting to Councillors for adoption next week is a steady as we go budget. It’s not about spending money on new projects or initiatives. It is about investing in our core services and routine maintenance,’’ the Mayor says.
“However, we have agreed to support the development of a multicultural centre for Christchurch.
“During public submissions on the Draft Annual Plan leaders of Christchurch's ethnic communities advocated that a multicultural centre is needed more than ever in the wake of the 15 March terror attack and we have taken that on board. Money has been earmarked for a centre, however, there are other funders to work with as well,’’ the Mayor says.
“The other substantial change from the Draft Annual Plan that we consulted on relates to how much we fund Regenerate Christchurch.
“We had budgeted $4 million for Regenerate Christchurch but we have made the decision to reallocate much of that funding to other regeneration projects
“The Council is going to take over the Southshore and South New Brighton work that was started by Regenerate Christchurch so $1 million in funding will need to be allocated for that. That leaves the Council with $2 million in funding that was originally tagged for Regenerate Christchurch that it will have to make a decision on,’’ the Mayor says.
The budget papers that will be considered by the Council on Tuesday provide for an average rate rise of 4.99 per cent – half a per cent less than was proposed in the Long Term Plan.
Read the agenda for Tuesday’s Annual Plan meeting.