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Annual Plan Submissions

The submission period is 17 February to 18 March, and the dates for the public hearings are 9-10 May, in Thames.

Today's glossy blurb warns that there is "limited scope for changes to the Annual Plan".

It totally fails to mention the plan to break the long standing borrowing ratio limit of  150%  of revenue, by 1.8%. It is as if the limit never existed, and that is clearly what is intended as the document shows a pie chart with borrowing included under "other". The additional amount involved is $1.8m. This can only be corrected by cutting expenditure, or increasing rates - take your pick.

Clearly the choice of Council was to cut rates to well below the rate of inflation - a short term fix that can only be maintained by further increasing borrowing.  The additional borrowing represents an additional 1.78% increase in rates, that would bring the total increase to 3.88%, compared to the forecast Local Government price Index of 3.25%.

Surely this would be a more honest approach, and at the same time avoid the dangerous precedent of borrowing in order to avoid a rate increase in line with inflation, and to keep faith with the Mayor's famous election promise to reduce rates, regardless. What we now have as a result is a short sighted policy that will surely come back to bite, as night follows day.

Do not be put off by the "limited scope" warning. If you are unhappy with the additional 1.8% borrowing over the limit then make a submission objecting to this "sleight of hand".  

And do not be fooled by the 2.1% "average increase". To this you must add the 8.9% increase on local rates (plus GST which is inexplicably missing from the calculations). Please refer to my post - "Rate Increase of 2.1% Signalled" of 2 February for additional information.

If you do not agree with the 1.8% increase over the long established borrowing limit then say so, and indicate if you oppose the planned local additional expenditures, including the "concept plan" for local sporting facilities - swimming pool, rugby pavilion and Zoom Zone dry court ($100,000), or heritage tourist development ($50,000). 

The $100,000 is just the opening shot for expenditure likely to total  over $14m.  Expenditure of this magnitude will alone increase Thames Ward rates by over $500 per annum over 5 years.  Borrowing capacity will eventually dry up, even if limits are raised. 

What you see is NOT what you get - this is a public relations glossy designed to obfuscate - again!

And don't expect to find your new rate on the TCDC Website as trumpeted in the blurb. The only one there is the 2010/11 rate. No doubt they will get that sorted out in time - the same thing happened last year.




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Reader Comments (1)

I must admit when I saw Leach throw the baby out with the bath water at the Mayoral Candidtates meeting I went from a maybe vote to a no vote. I think he is a political oportunist and his two major statements : NO RATE INCREASE & REDUCE STAFFING LEVELS have proven to be absolutely shallow. This Mayor will pay 2% increase because of where he lives but I would like to see him charged every time he uses our drinking water and toilets in Thames.
We have spent $50,000 on investigations on the Zoom Zone and now they want another $100,000 tom investigate the same thing. My estimate is that current facilities are 10% utilised and we have more than 50% of the population retired and as thye slopes at the largely unused skateboard park are too steep for electric mobility chair slalom racing why do we need to spend more money on facilities that wont be used. Keep up the good work Bill .

February 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Feran

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