Work to­gether to save money

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

The Waikato Mayoral Fo­rum has been pro­vided with in­for­ma­tion on joint work streams which will de­liver multi- mil­lion dol­lar sav­ings for ratepay­ers and ramp up the re­gional econ­omy, and elected a new chair­per­son.

The fo­rum – which in­cludes city and dis­trict may­ors and the chair­per­son of the re­gional coun­cil – has elected Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil mayor Al­lan Sanson to be chair­man, re­plac­ing for­mer Mata­mata- Pi­ako mayor Hugh Ver­coe, now a re­gional coun­cil­lor.

Wait­omo Dis­trict Coun­cil’s mayor Brian Hanna was elected fo­rum deputy chair.

‘‘ I am strongly com­mit­ted to work­ing with my fel­low coun­cil lead­ers on mak­ing a real dif­fer­ence for Waikato’s fu­ture,’’ said Mr Sanson.

‘‘Col­lec­tively, we want to en­sure we have the best ar­range­ments in place to de­liver on the po­ten­tial for multi-mil­lion dol­lar sav­ings and a sig­nif­i­cantly healthier econ­omy.

‘‘It’s by work­ing to­gether that we’ll de­liver the best re­sults.’’

The meet­ing also dis­cussed the fo­rum work streams cov­er­ing lo­cal coun­cil co-op­er­a­tion over road­ing, wa­ter and waste wa­ter ser­vices, plan­ning, and eco­nomic de­velop- ment. Progress work said:

A busi­ness case would be de­vel­oped by the end of the year for a joint ‘‘cen­tre of ex­cel­lence’’ in road as­set man­age­ment to help road as­set man­agers make bet­ter de­ci­sions and de­liver sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings.

On wa­ter, a con­sul­tant is to con­sider the op­por­tu­ni­ties for greater co­op­er­a­tion iden­ti­fied in a re­cent re­port, test the fi­nan­cial and prac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tions, and pur­sue them if a busi­ness case is jus­ti­fied.

The first stage of a draft Waikato Plan process is pro-

re­ports on

this grammed for Fe­bru­ary 2014.

Such a plan would in part be aimed at far greater co-or­di­na­tion of coun­cil ac­tiv­i­ties in the re­gion to help squeeze out the costs of du­pli­cat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and ser­vices.

En­gage­ment with the wider com­mu­nity on the is­sues iden­ti­fied in the draft plan is due to start next year.

Work on de­vel­op­ing a busi­nessled draft eco­nomic strat­egy for the re­gion is pro­gress­ing well fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of a strat­egy dis­cus­sion

com­ple­tion

by pa­per and work­shops with the busi­ness sec­tor and other stake­hold­ers.

A project gov­er­nance group made up of busi­ness and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers will meet next month to con­sider the out­comes of con­sul­ta­tion, and rec­om­mended changes to the strat­egy dis­cus­sion pa­per.

‘‘Our col­lec­tive task will be to make sure we take up op­por­tu­ni­ties and meet chal­lenges in a joined up way to en­sure the wider re­gion flour­ishes as well as it can,’’ Mr Sanson said.

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