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The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


 

Christchurch Mayor

Work on the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan process was well underway when the COVID-19 crisis hit our shores, which means all the tools that will help us drill into our finances and project priorities have been developed.

Now we can road-test them on our updated draft annual plan.

I know some commentators have said there is a simple solution to the annual plan – a one-size-fits-all approach – but there isn’t.

One council project cut is another company laying off employees and subcontractors missing out. We need a balance.

And that’s what the tools are all about.

It’s not a choice between more efficient spending (with better value for money by renegotiating with contractors and suppliers), or increasing short term borrowing, (while leaving sufficient headroom in case there was to be another disaster); it’s got to be both.

And it’s also got to be about stripping out costs that don’t impact significant levels of service and deferring items of capital expenditure that can wait.
Instead of a small surplus, COVID-19 sees us end this financial year with a $33M deficit.

And with a large reduction in dividends from our companies expected next year, the challenge we face pulling down the average household rates increase we had budgeted at 4.65 percent was much tougher than we had anticipated at the beginning of the year.

But we can get there.

And we now know that we have the tools to help us reposition the Council in a post-COVID environment as a reliable and efficient organisation that enables its residents and businesses to prosper.


 

Lianne Dalzie

Investigating Infrastructural Investment: Mayor Lianne Dalziel’s recommendations

Mayor Lianne Dalziel is recommending Christchurch City Council puts extra money in its budget for improving the city’s core infrastructure.

Lianne Dalzie
Mayor Lianne Dalziel is recommending council puts extra money into improving core infrastructure

Council has met to begin finalising its Long Term Plan (LTP) – the document that maps out the council’s work programme and priorities for the next 10 years and how it proposes to fund the works.
More than 1500 groups and individuals made submissions on the draft LTP. In response to their feedback, the council is considering:

• Bringing forward $25 million in capital expenditure into the next three years to pay for work to ensure Christchurch’s drinking water is safe, secure and unchlorinated. The focus for the first year remains getting chlorine out of the drinking water

• Allocating an extra $16.8 million over the next three years for improving roads and footpaths, including intersections and school safety

• Approve spending an extra $48 million over the next three years on improving the performance of the city’s wastewater network.

“We heard very clearly from the community that people want roads and footpaths repaired faster, so we’ve made changes that allow us to repair those in the worst condition sooner,” Mayor Lianne Dalziel says.

 

Additional recommendations include:

• Bringing forward funding for the city’s planned new stadium by two years

• Providing a $30 million loan facility to support the building of more social housing in the city

• Supporting a range of initiatives in the community, for example Thompson Park, Linwood Pool, Edgeware Pool and additional opening hours for Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre

• Continuing the Landmark Heritage Grant for three years

• Fast-tracking sections of the Quarryman’s Trail and Nor’West Arc cycleways, which will support a number of schools
• Extending the one-hour free parking offer in its central city car parking buildings until the end of January 2019

• Requesting the Development Forum develops a work programme to maintain momentum in the CBD, focusing on landbanking practices and incentives to develop inner-city residential properties

• Continuing free swims for green prescription holders and preschoolers at council pools during school hours.

To fund this work, it is proposed rates increase by an average of 5.5 percent in the coming financial year (plus $6.52 per property for the special heritage Cathedral grant). This is about $2.80 more a week for a home with the average RV of $500,000.