Hot de­bate as PCC fixes 3pc rates rise

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Porirua res­i­dents are look­ing at a 3 per cent rates rise in the coming year fol­low­ing the city coun­cil sign­ing off its draft An­nual Plan last week.

Mayor Nick Leggett said he was com­fort­able with the re­duc­tions and ad­di­tions pro­posed at a meet­ing of the full coun­cil last week, which kept them in line with the Long Term Plan (LTP) forecast.

‘‘We have worked hard to be able to ab­sorb within that 3 per cent [rise], sig­nif­i­cant new costs that have arisen since the LTP was adopted in June 2012.’’

In­creases in­clude in­surance pre­mi­ums ($225,000), the Pau­ata­hanui sew­er­age scheme ($ 276,000), a new Emer­gency Man­age­ment Of­fice ($ 100,000) and a re­view of PCC’s ex­pen­di­ture and ser­vice de­liv­ery ($100,000). This last item was hotly de­bated, with Mr Leggett us­ing his cast­ing vote to ap­prove it af­ter a 7-7 split among coun­cil­lors.

Deputy mayor Liz Kelly said too much money was spent on re­views and not enough on in­fra­struc­ture, but those in favour said or­gan­i­sa­tions needed to look at where money was be­ing spent and what ef­fi­cien­cies could be made.

‘‘We need some­one, in­de­pen­dent of this coun­cil, to an­a­lyse what we are do­ing. We should not be afraid of that,’’ Mr Leggett said. ‘‘It’s im­por­tant this [$100,000] stays in so that we can have a trans­par­ent process that our ratepay­ers ex­pect.’’

He called the draft An­nual Plan prag­matic and pru­dent, help­ing the city ‘‘move for­ward pos­i­tively dur­ing a time of wide­spread change’’.

It was time to hear the com­mu­nity’s views, he said.

Coun­cil­lor Litea Ah Hoi said it was one of the low­est pro­posed rate in­creases she could re­call dur­ing her ten­ure on coun­cil and it re­flected well on her col­leagues and coun­cil of­fi­cers.

Coun­cil­lor Ken Dou­glas, how­ever, took a swipe at of­fi­cers, not­ing that in­cor­rectly-stated tar­gets for stormwa­ter, waste­water and water sup­ply in the LTP due to typographical er­rors were ‘‘stupid’’.

The coun­cil’s gen­eral man­ager of cor­po­rate ser­vices Euan Dempsey said they were still on track to be in sur­plus in three years’ time.

Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion runs from March 25 to April 26 with the draft plan avail­able from li­braries, the coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing in Cob­ham Court or at pcc.govt.nz.

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