Rates, roads in spotlight
THE Derwent Valley Council needs to focus on operating within a budget that won’t send rates higher than the consumer price index, mayoral candidate Phillip Bingley says.
Mr Bingley, a retired local government officer from Lachlan who has 38 years experience with councils, is standing for Derwent Valley Mayor in the upcoming local government elections with two main concerns.
“I have become very frustrated with basic service providers like councils, electricity, water and sewage suppliers annually jacking up their rates above CPI, which has increased the financial strain on ratepayers,” he said.
“The Hobart CPI for 2017 was 2.1 per cent and yet our council increased this year’s rates by 5.8 per cent — enough is enough.”
Mr Bingley said Derwent Valley roads needed a major overhaul.
“I believe rural-residential areas have been neglected and I will only support an annual budget that has at least $250,000 allocated to improve and seal roads in areas like Lachlan, Molesworth and Magra,” he said.
“Having good roads presents the town well. Broken-up roads are such a poor image for a municipality that is tourism-focused. The roads are part of what signifies how the area is tracking.”
Mr Bingley said if elected, he would move that the council adopt a policy to see all future rate increases be capped at a maximum of the yearly CPI.
“Keeping rate increases to a CPI maximum would send a clear message to council management that they must restrain and prioritise spending to essential services such as good roads, well maintained parks, sports grounds, and efficient waste management systems,” he said.
Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans told the Gazette in July the rate rise was due to the cost of flood damage repairs, the loss of dividends from TasWater and pay increases for staff.