You will soon be able to have your say on the Draft Annual Plan 2013/2014 - Auckland Council’s draft budget for the next financial year.
The draft plan represents the second year of our 10-year budget, the Long-term Plan 2012-2022 (LTP).
The draft plan is due to be adopted by the council on 19 December and will propose the council's average rates increase for 2013/2014.
Over recent months, we have been refining our budgets so we can keep rates as low as possible while still delivering on the Auckland Plan's vision to create the world's most liveable city.
The LTP currently has the average rates increase for 2013/2014 at 4.8 per cent. However, Mayor Len Brown recently proposed an average rates increase of no more than 2.9 per cent - the lowest the council has proposed so far.
"The adjusted rates increase has been achieved largely by cutting costs behind the scenes, particularly at council-controlled organisations, harmonising fees across Auckland and looking at ways to generate revenue," says the mayor.
Through the draft plan, the council is proposing changes to a range of fees. This includes increases to dog registrations and licensing fees for food premises, meaning users cover a greater percentage of costs, with less funding from rates.
The mayor emphasises that Auckland must not step back from the path that the council forged with the Auckland Plan and the LTP.
"We need to continue to invest in the future of Auckland as an international city and one that is forecast to grow," he says. "The annual plan gives us the opportunity to fine-tune the LTP."
Alongside the Draft Annual Plan 2013/2014, there will be 21 draft local board agreements, providing details about each board's local budget.
Auckland Council's Draft Annual Plan 2013/2014 will be available for Aucklanders to have their say from 24 January to 22 February 2013.
The mayor's examples of proposed savings and efficiencies include:
- Auckland Transport - $4.1m in savings by discontinuing berm mowing on the Auckland isthmus in line with the rest of Auckland and reducing the contingency fund for emergency bus service provision
- corporate support - $4.02m in savings in human resources, IT, communications and legal services, including $594,000 saved by restricting IT support for elected members to office hours
- Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) - $1.18m in savings by rationalising i-SITEs, reducing corporate costs and adding revenue from external partnerships.
There will be more information on the draft annual plan, including how to have your say, in the February 2013 edition of OurAuckland.