HuttCity_TeAwaKairangi_BLACK_AGENDA_COVER

 

 

Long Term Plan/Annual Plan Subcommittee

 

 

26 May 2020

 

 

 

Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

Council Chambers 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt,

on:

 

 

Friday 29 May 2020 commencing at 9.30am

 

 

Membership

 

 

Mayor C Barry (Chair)

Deputy Mayor T Lewis

Cr D Bassett

Cr J Briggs

Cr K Brown

Cr B Dyer

Cr S Edwards

Cr D Hislop

Cr C Milne

Cr A Mitchell

Cr S Rasheed

Cr N Shaw

Cr L Sutton

 

 

 

For the dates and times of Council Meetings please visit www.huttcity.govt.nz

 

Have your say

You can speak under public comment to items on the agenda to the Mayor and Councillors at this meeting. Please let us know by noon the working day before the meeting. You can do this by emailing DemocraticServicesTeam@huttcity.govt.nz or calling the Democratic Services Team on 04 570 6666 | 0800 HUTT CITY

 

 


HuttCity_TeAwaKairangi_SCREEN_MEDRES

 

PURPOSE

To carry out all necessary considerations and hearings, precedent to the Council’s final adoption of Long Term Plans (LTP) and Annual Plans (AP) which give effect to the strategic direction and outcomes set by the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee through setting levels of service, funding priorities, the performance framework and budgets.

 

Determine:

       Development of a framework and timetable for the LTP and AP processes.

       The nature and scope of engagement and public consultation required.

       Statements to the media.

       Such other matters as the Subcommittee considers appropriate and which fall within its Terms of Reference.

       Informal engagement with the community, and the hearing of any formal public submissions.

       Consideration of submissions on Hutt City Council’s Assessment of Water and Sanitary Services.

 

Consider and make recommendations to Council:

     Levels of service, funding priorities, performance framework, budgets, rating levels and policies required as part of the LTP or AP, excluding any policies recommended to Council by the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee.

     Consultation Documents.

     Council’s proposed and final LTP.

     Council’s proposed and final AP.

     Final content and wording, and adoption of the final Hutt City Council Assessment of Water and Sanitary Services.

Note:

Extract from the Controller and Auditor General’s October 2010 Good Practice Guide: Guidance for members of local authorities about the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968

 

Appointment as the local authority’s representative on another organisation

5.47         You may have been appointed as the authority’s representative on the governing body of a council-controlled organisation or another body (for example, a community-based trust).

5.48         That role will not usually prevent you from participating in authority matters concerning the other organisation – especially if the role gives you specialised knowledge that it would be valuable to contribute.

5.49         However, you could create legal risks to the decision if your participation in that decision raises a conflict between your duty as a member of the local authority and any duty to act in the interests of the other organisation. These situations are not clear cut and will often require careful consideration and specific legal advice.

5.50         Similarly, if your involvement with the other organisation raises a risk of predetermination, the legal risks to the decision of the authority as a result of your participation may be higher, for example, if the other organisation has made a formal submission to the authority as part of a public submissions process.

 

    


                                                                       5                                                  29 May 2020

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Long Term Plan/Annual Plan Subcommittee

 

Meeting to be held in the Council Chambers 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt,

on:

 Friday 29 May 2020 commencing at 9.30am.

 

ORDER PAPER

 

Public Business

 

 

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

Generally up to 30 minutes is set aside for public comment (three minutes per speaker on items appearing on the agenda). Speakers may be asked questions on the matters they raise.       

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS

Members are reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as a member and any private or other external interest they might have.

4.       Submissions Analysis - draft Annual Plan 2020/21 (20/433)

Report No. LTPAP2020/4/112 by the Head of Strategy and Planning              6

5.       HEARING OF SUBMISSIONS (20/467)

          See link to full submissions:   

          http://iportal.huttcity.govt.nz/Home/Search?Tab=31&query=container:%5buri:5594196%5d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathryn Stannard

HEAD OF DEMOCRATIC SERVICES

     


                                                                                       6                                                             29 May 2020

Long Term Plan/Annual Plan Subcommittee

21 May 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/433)

 

 

 

 

Report no: LTPAP2020/4/112

 

Submissions Analysis - draft Annual Plan 2020/21

 

Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to provide Council with analysis of the submissions received and the results of engagement activity undertaken during the “light touch” engagement on the draft Annual Plan emergency budget.

Recommendations

That Council:

(i)    notes the details of activity prior to and during the draft Annual Plan engagement period 8 May to 22 May; and

(ii)   notes the summary analysis of feedback received.

For the reasons outlined in the report.

 

Executive Summary

2.   During an unprecedented period in New Zealand’s history with a lockdown in place and economic and social uncertainty facing our community, the Council met and agreed to reduce its operating budget by $3 million and to engage with the community on a reduced rates rise (from 7.9% to 3.8%) as part of a draft emergency budget and Annual Plan for 2020/21 with a focus on Getting us Through – Kia tae ki tua. These decisions were made amongst developing and implementing a detailed COVID-19 response plan to assist the community by providing financial and welfare support to businesses and residents.

3.   The proposed draft Annual Plan (DAP) aimed to strike a balance of reducing planned rates increases, while also including funding to progress key projects and avoiding significant service reductions. Priority was given to funding Three Waters works, other operational savings included in the draft budget of $3M, the projected deficit of $9 million for 2020/21 as opposed to the $4.4M surplus in year three of the LTP, the capital expenditure programme that people could expect for the rates revenue increase proposed and also the importance of continuing to invest where we can to prepare for the future was stressed.

4.   Key projects like the renewal of the city’s water infrastructure, and seismic strengthening of facilities were included in the proposed rates rise. As such the emergency one-year budget was developed on the basis of prioritising investment in Three Waters infrastructure. The average rates increase per household of $2.35 per week or $122 per annum largely related to this priority area. Investment in Three Waters infrastructure makes up $84 of the average $122 per annum rise and the remaining $38 covers cost increases for all the other services provided by Council.

5.    The financial challenges remain and we will need to find sustainable solutions where there is sufficient revenue to match the costs of delivering services for our growing city.

6.   Due to lockdown restrictions and the compressed timeframe for setting a rate Council agreed that a “light touch” two-week engagement period from 8 May to 22 May would be undertaken focused on digital engagement and connecting to the community.

7.     Council received 164 submissions (163 from individuals and 1 from an organisation) via Bang the Table (BTT) during the engagement period 8 May to midnight on 22 May. There were 18 email/post submissions from individuals and 28 e mail submissions from organisations.

8.     There was a good response across wards. The majority of submissions came from people under 50 years (50%), with 7% of these under 30 years old, and 26% were between 60 to 80 years old. 95% of respondents were residential ratepayers, 5% commercial and 5% rural.  Some residential ratepayers are also commercial rate payers.  

Overall approach

9.     Of these 59 % strongly agreed or agreed with the overall approach outlined in the one year emergency budget and draft Annual Plan 2020/21, while 28% either disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Agreement or disagreement with the overall approach outlined in one-year emergency budget and draft Annual Plan 2020-21  (158 Responses)

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

17% (26)

42% (67)

13% (21)

15% (24)

13% (20)

 

Proposed rates increase

10. 72% agreed or thought that the rates increase should be higher while 28% disagreed or thought it should be lower.

Does the proposed 3.8% overall rates increase strike the right balance (156 responses)

Yes, I agree

No, I think the rates increase should be higher

No, I think the rates increase should be lower

58% (91)

14% (21)

28% (44)

 

 

11. These submitters thought the rates increase should be more and they supported the increase proposed in the draft LTP amendment documents (7.9%).  They wanted to get our city up and running the way it’s planned, rather than cut the rates increase in half and have the tax payers suffer through a half pie city for the next few years.  These submitters felt putting things off would cost the city more in the long run and were concerned that only investing in the bare basics would not stimulate growth in Lower Hutt. Some suggested that the rates increase should be more to fund the sort of upgrades the city needs.

12.  Submitters generally agreed with proposals for investment in network   infrastructure to assist with our expanding community – even when they  disagreed with a rates increase. Concerns were expressed that the deficit would need to be clawed back in the future at a higher cost and we were delaying the inevitable.

 

13. Submitters across the board urged council to bring the government of the day on board in partnership to deliver of projects worthy of investment and said it was critical that our city is at the top of the priority list for central government funding.

Rates Differential (Split)

14. An overwhelming majority preferred option 1, maintaining the current splits (78%), with 17% preferring option 2 freezing the differential and 5% continuing with the current plan.  This question was answered by 113 of the 164 respondents approximately 69% or just over two thirds.

Which of three Rates Split options do you prefer (option 1 is Councils preferred option)

(113 responses)

Option 1

(maintain % splits)

Option 2

(freeze differential)

Option 3

(continue with current plan)

78% (117)

17% (26)

5% (7)

 

Background

15.  In light of the unprecedented situation as a result of Covid-19, Council took stock of the key projects planned in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan (LTP) and turned its focus to ensuring investment in essential services can continue. This includes additional expenditure on Three Waters to do the basics like fixing water leaks, renewing some pipes in poor condition and to upgrade the Seaview Wastewater Plant to address seismic issues. The emergency one-year budget for 2020/21 is limited to getting us through this period of uncertainty.

16. As per Council’s decision to progress a one-year emergency budget for 2020/21 a “light touch” public engagement period took place from 8 May to 22 May.

17.  The key message became “Getting Through” and the engagement document provided information on operational savings, the deficit position as opposed to the $4.4M surplus in year three of the LTP, the capital expenditure programme people could expect for the rates revenue increase proposed and also stressed the importance of continuing to invest where we can to prepare for the future.

 

18.  Covid-19 continued to add challenges to the communication and engagement of the DAP. The community was still in Alert Level 3 when engagement began and moved to Alert Level 2 half way through the engagement period.  People were focused on keeping themselves and their families safe and tentatively moving towards a more “normal” state. The social and economic impacts of Covid-19 continue to affect communities and businesses.

 

Engagement

 

19.  The focus was on digital engagement and reaching residents in different ways. This included utilising staff and councillors to connect with people to be their ‘neighbours’ news’ through messaging on Council’s social media channels. Social media, live feeds and digital promotion were used.

 

20.  We were able to have 200 hard copies of the engagement document distributed to Council facilities that opened with the move to Alert Level 2 in the second week of the engagement period. 

 

21.  During the engagement period, advertising focused on Facebook, Neighbourly and any local publications which had an online presence or had indicated they may be able to publish.  A two page advertorial and a half page advertisement were placed in the Hutt News in the second week of the engagement period. 

 

22.  We published the detailed information that supported the DAP (including financial information, project lists, performance measures and targets, proposed fees and charges and other detailed supporting information) on our key engagement channel ‘Bang the Table’ and also made this available via Council’s website (and in hard copy, as above). 

 

23.  Te Reo was an integral part of the document for the first time and mana whenua guided us with this.  Te Reo was also a key part of the Bang the Table site. Positive feedback was received on this and we will continue to use Te Reo for future consultations.

 

24.  Efforts were made to make the Bang the Table site and engagement document more accessible to all users. This included having visual information like graphs, infographics, a rates calculator and more technical information displayed in a way that readers could access. Bang the Table could be viewed on a mobile, desktop or any modern browser.

 

25.   Four thousand people visited the BTT site during the engagement. Of these 1,100 were informed - they knew about the Getting Through engagement visited at least one page - and 174 were  informed visitors – they contributed to share an idea, made comments and participated in the survey.

26. Prior to and during the engagement period a number of media releases and Hutt@Heart articles about the draft Annual Plan and Covid-19.  The Mayor and CE held a Facebook live feed on the Annual Plan (weekly) and there was an organic Twitter campaign. The rates calculator was well used with 841 people using it to calculate the rates impact on their property.

27. During the engagement period there were a number of elected member’s requests for further information and comments relating to the information available in the engagement document.

28. We will benchmark the effectiveness of our engagement against previous data and report this in the context of a shortened and “lighter” engagement at Council’s 18 June meeting.


 

Submissions – analysis of qualitative feedback

29. The table below provides information on the feedback received and in what form.

Feedback Received

Type

Dates

Number

Online (Bang the Table)

8-22 May 2020

154 of 164 respondents left at least one comment or uploaded a document

Email

 to 22 May 2020

18 from individuals

28 from organisations

 

30. The following analysis provides an overview of all the feedback received online, via email, post or phone during the engagement on Council’s draft Annual Plan emergency budget.

Strongly agreeing or agreeing

31. This group (93 in all) supported the overall approach noted that the proposed rates increase recognised the financial hardship that many people are experiencing and also addressed the need to maintain essential services, particularly the three waters. A few people wanted Council to further prioritise essential infrastructure spending once the future for New Zealand became clearer.

32. They were generally pleased to see Naenae Pool included as they saw it as crucial for restoring that community.  They were concerned about the deficit situation in the longer term and they wanted council to continue its commitment to paying the living wage. 

33. While there was agreement that these difficult times demanded a sensible and sound financial reset of priorities they didn’t fully agree with putting things on hold as dealing with crises was the “new normal” be it Covid, housing, climate, traffic, earthquake, regular ‘once in a lifetime’ weather events, or infrastructure challenges. 

34. They were concerned at the lack of longer term investments in a sustainable future and wanted financial and political decisions balanced with the greater good and the world that we leave for our tamariki. They want council to be smart and innovative rather than stay with its old conservative approach, now it has the leadership and people to do it.

35. Young people, water and climate change featured as priorities. People were unsure about River Link and its ability to produce results for the CBD in terms of a return of people and business success. 

36. There was support for council being more ambitious with some of its objectives and having the courage to use increased borrowing at this time of very low interest rates, to progress more of the projects that are required for building a vibrant city with modern infrastructure.  They reasoned that residents and businesses need a city that can support all communities and provide for everyone as we recover from the Covid19 event.

37. They agreed that doing nothing or just the minimum was not an option and considered that an increase in the debt is appropriate in these circumstances noting the intergenerational benefits that would accrue.

Neutral

38. Comments from submitters who were neutral about the overall approach (12 in all) acknowledged that projects such as the Naenae pool and fitness centre preparatory work, the Eastbourne Shared Path, RiverLink and the Cross Valley Link road would be good for the city.

39. They also acknowledged Council’s application to the Infrastructure Reference Group for “shovel ready” projects and agreed that central government should be contributing to these.

40. There was strong support from this group of submitters for the three water investment and spending to support a modern thriving city.  These submitters also think the review of the rubbish and recycling should remain as it is a citywide issue that impacts on climate change outcomes. One submitter thought that while the rates increase may seem like a fair compromise it is still ignoring a much greater issue – climate change.

41. There was some concern expressed about the proposed rates increase and a suggestion that Naenae pool could be put on hold and reassessed in the next financial year.

42. Sport and recreation groups are very concerned about their future and believe the sector needs sustained or increased investment.  They support continued prioritisation of the provision of well-maintained infrastructure, facilities and open spaces that provide equitable access for physical activity.

Strongly disagreeing or disagreeing

43. This group was concerned about affordability in times of uncertainty and this influenced their comments about the overall approach (38 in all).  People are very worried about the impact the revaluation will have on their rates. These submitters believe that it is unacceptable to increase rates at a time like this because of the impact of Covid-19 on incomes and employment and want Council to be fiscally prudent in its response.

44. Others felt that the overall approach was not articulated clearly enough. Some wanted projects particularly high cost projects such social, projects cycle trails, and Riverlink removed as they saw these as not vital for the City given the current economic times removed from the budget.  

45. People found understanding how local government funding works confusing while others questioned whether the city is getting value for money from having our water assets managed by Wellington Water Limited. 

46. Naenae Pool was specifically mentioned. These submitters did not agree with replacing Naenae Pool and fitness centre and do not believe it should be a priority/emergency project.  They also questioned the engagement process for Naenae pool and felt their view that the pool should not be replaced was not listened to. 

47. There was support for more sustainable user pays models that could be used for services such as libraries and community hubs as not all ratepayers use those facilities.  People thought that services which every resident uses should have more investment allocated to them like water, sewage, rubbish removal and recycling rather than services such as parks and reserves. 

48. One submitter commented that they would still like to see the recycling reforms progress and asked that any additional operational savings should be put towards the proposed recycling initiatives to ensure these could continue to be provided within the same funding envelope.

49. There were suggestions that further cost cutting to meet the costs of projects and prevent a rates increase. Using further decreases in funding for staffing and operational costs was suggested.

Rates split

50. There were submitters that thought commercial rate payers should pay more and others that took the opposite view. One submitter suggested that the basis of any differences in charging should be established solely upon the level of services received by each rating category and that the differential should continue to be reversed so businesses would pay progressively less rates.

51. Another suggested that the rates are needed to move away from property valuations and percentages set for each group as the starting point.  They also suggested that the rating valuations should be applied within each category to determine the relative allocation for individuals within each category rather than spread across all ratepayers.

 

52. Another thought that the proportion paid by businesses should not be reducing as they benefitted from facilities just as residences do and should not be advantaged above residents. Another who commented thought that the rates differential needed to stop or, if anything, needed reversing so that commercial properties started paying a higher proportion. 

 

53. Concern was expressed for struggling businesses and the flow-on impact of increasing commercial rates on the business owners who own/rent premises who in turn increase the price of their products/services affecting all the residents. As a residential rate payer the submitter was preferred to pay an extra 35c a week to keep local businesses operating than have them close or put their prices up.

54. The Maungaraki Community Association proposed that there be a zero rates increase for both residential areas and businesses and keeping the Business Differential Rate at the current rate.

Iwi

55. Mana whenua support council refocusing on the city's core infrastructure and the prioritisation of spending on three waters. They endorse the proposed rates rise and approach taken by council at this time to get through this period of economic and social uncertainty.

 

56. The completion of the Te Aroha Matāuranga complex on Te Whiti Park is proposed as a project that will help the people of the Hutt Valley and economy get back on its feet. The proposal is that funds set aside in the 2019/20 Annual Plan ($300k) are transferred to 2020/21 with additional funding and is set out in their submission. The proposed partnership approach will strengthen the Council’s mana whenua relationship with Te Ati Awa.

 

57. Te Runanganui o te Āti Awa ki te Upoko o te Ika a Maui (the Rūnanga) has kaitiaki/ guardianship and joint management of Te Whiti Park and its facilities with the Council. This recognises Te Ati Awa as mana whenua and the important place of the park as the cultural and traditional home of Te Ati Awa in the Hutt Valley.

 

58. The Rūnanga supports a range of sporting activities for all ages on the park, though the Te Aroha HV Association and through its Tamaiti Whāngai  coaching and development programmes. Te Aroha HV Association is home to several sporting organisations and social activities including hosting health care services and other activities for kuia and kaumatua. Sports and activities supported through coaching and the provision of services including netball, rugby league, softball, touch, and cricket.

 

59. In 2017 the Council built the new changing rooms to replace existing buildings and to further support the sporting activities held on the park. This was the first stage of a wider plan for a Te Aroha Matāuranga community hub complex based on the park.  The second phase of the plan was to add on to the new changing rooms to create the multi-purpose community hub to deliver and support education programmes, cultural activities and community events and  activities that connect and engage people with their community and employment (whether paid or unpaid). 

 

60. In 2019, the Council agreed in principle to fund up to $400,000 for this development. At this time, the Council required the Rūnanga to co-fund around $300,000. The Rūnanga has advised Council it that it cannot raise the funds needed.

Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce

 

61. The Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce is the predominant voice for the small to medium enterprise (SME) sector across the Wellington region and in particular the Hutt Valley. More than 90% of their members operate small and medium sized businesses, each employing less than 20 people.

62. They surveyed their membership during Alert Level three to assess how business owners were coping and also what their view of the future was.  People were asked where they thought they would be in the next three months and the next six months. In three months:

a.   64% expected no change in staffing; 28.2% expected a decrease in staffing.

b.   89% expected no change to the size of their premises.

c.   22.0% expected an increase in working hours; 36% a decrease and 41% expect no change.

d.   73% anticipate a decreased in income; 73% anticipated a decrease in profitability.

e.   48% expected an increase in online activity.

f.    28% anticipated an increase in marketing spend; 23% a decrease and 49% no change.

63. In the next six months:

a.   26% anticipate a decrease in staffing; 60% expect no change.

b.   88% expect no change in the size of their premises.

c.   53% expect no change in working hours in the next six months; 24% expect a decrease in working hours; 24% expect an increase.

d.   55% anticipate a decrease in income in the next six months; 58% anticipate a decrease in profitability.

e.   46% anticipate an increase in online activity in the next six months.

64. HVCCI acknowledges and applauds the council’s work to review the original draft LTP amendment plan and reduce the rates increase in light of Covid-19. They support the reduction in rates increase from the original 7.9% to a 3.8% increase as it is of significant value to the business community at this time.

65. They support the council’s ongoing commitment to investing in core infrastructure and the approach to identifying significant additional cost savings. They also support the continued investment in water infrastructure and earthquake resilience and recognise that without these basic elements of infrastructure, businesses cannot operate.

 

66. HVCCI supports the RiverLink project in terms of flood protection and CBD transformation recognising that a flood of the Hutt River that deluges Lower Hutt CBD will cause equal damage to our local business community and would equally require many years of recovery. They recognise the importance of continuing to invest in local infrastructure to mitigate other risks that also pose significant threats to our local economy. They also support the CBD Transformation Plan.

 

67. As the voice of business for the Hutt Valley, the Chamber is a strong advocate for infrastructure works across the valley, supporting and facilitating economic development for our businesses and community as a whole.

 

68. They agree that preparing for recovery and growth is important and note that our strong technology and manufacturing base could have a significant role to play in the economic recovery of not just our local community, but also the wider Wellington region and nationally. They note the importance of the Seaview/Gracefield areas to the economic recover.  They also note that the continuing increase in rates in this area over the last few years is increasing the burden on businesses in this area and potentially deterring others from renting business space in the area. 

 

Commercial Rates Differentials

 

69. With regard to the rating split, HVCCI has advocated for many years to reduce the commercial rating differential. They continue to believe this is the right approach for the long term. They note that the local commercial property sector has faced many years of difficulty attributable to the recent earthquakes and sharply increased seismic compliance costs.

 

70. Also, while commercial property values have increased at a much slower rate than residential, the compliance costs for businesses relating to earthquakes, health and safety and other requirements, has increased substantially. Many commercial property owners and tenants face large investments in their premises to bring them up to modern standards and requirements. Their view is that it is important that council is seen to support the business community given the new situation the business community now finds itself in with Covid-19. 

 

71. HVCCI advocates for Option 2 which freezes the differential for one year and gives everyone time to adjust to the challenges that lay ahead. Their view is that this also provides commercial tenants with some rent relief and provides a mechanism for sharing some of the burden. HVCCI welcomes further engagement with council on the planning process and looks forward to further engaging the business community in the finalisation of the plans and their implementation.

 

Priority Projects - 100 respondents entered comments

Priorities/projects

Number of comments

Three waters

17 comments agree with prioritising three waters infrastructure

Rubbish & recycling

17 comments wanting project continued

Naenae Pool

21 comments - split between those want it made a priority, and those against or unsure

Cycleways

7 comments

Basic infrastructure

19 comments

Essential/core services

4 comments

Environment

8 comments (minimising environmental impact/sustainability)

Housing

6 comments (social housing/homelessness)

Updated facilities

4 comments

RiverLink

3 comments

Other

17 suggestions

General

12 comments

 

Three Waters

72. Most of those who commented on this (17), generally agreed with the proposed three waters investment while others thought that it did not go far enough. The repair of leaks was seen as a real issue with submitters mentioning leaks in their local areas that had gone unattended for weeks in some cases.  Overflows of sewage into waterways and the need to keep rubbish, particularly plastic out of waterways were also mentioned. 

73. One submitter thought council should take back control of three waters infrastructure, another thought we should be measuring the water usage per person and aim for a reduction of treated water and subsequently less waste and storm water. They thought the volume of waste and storm water should also be measured and that water savings made now would help delay the need for more storage in the future and reduce a growing dissatisfaction with businesses not having to limit their water usage in summer.

Rubbish and Recycling

74. There was strong support throughout the submissions for proceeding with the recycling and rubbish changes.  People generally agreed that both needed an overhaul and that council should be moving in the areas of community response to global warming (transport), waste (composting) and recycling, flood and landslide mitigation. One submitter felt if we don't act now and modernise our system, the environment will be worse off than it currently is. One submitter thought council should not be involved in providing waste services at all.

75. There was support for planning stage 2 for Silverstream Landfill and reducing the amount of organic waste from the current waste stream so that the landfill could last 23% to 65% longer. 

Naenae Pool

76. There were two views on Naenae Pool – those in support of continuing with replacement and those who felt the project should be delayed or dropped altogether.

77. One submitter thought the pool should be reopened as is and another that the project needed to be underpinned by a comprehensive business case that was developed as part of a transparent process that ensures the whole rate-paying community has input. There was strong support for the project also with one submitter thinking that the economic benefits for the whole city and particularly for Naenae of a world-class facility would be immense.

Cycleways

78. Cycleways were strongly supported particularly the Eastbourne Bays Shared Pathway. Submitters strongly encouraged council to pursue government funding from funds set aside to improve cycle paths and walk ways for social distancing as well as the funding for shovel ready projects.  There was support for investing in changes that make the city more liveable and people centred. 

(Basic) Infrastructure

79. Submitters wanted council to focus on providing good resilient basic infrastructure.  Three specific areas mentioned were safety improvements, better quality footpaths that allowed for social distancing, continuous separated cycle lanes throughout the city and a second road from Wainuiomata. 

80. Resealing main roads with low noise pavements such as asphalt and better traffic light control management to optimise traffic flows were mentioned.  One submitter asked why we do not have any measurement of CO2 emissions on the roads as this would enable us to measure our level of success as a city in reducing emissions. 

Housing/Homelessness

81. Homelessness and social housing was identified as an issue people wanted addressed while others thought this should be central government’s responsibility.

Facilities

82. A few submitters commented on facilities with some seeing them as part of essential services i.e. infrastructure like water, sewage, and community facilities such as libraries, parks and pools.  A submitter supported a continuing prioritisation of well-maintained infrastructure, facilities and open spaces that provide equitable access for physical activity including significant backing for all current community facilities.

Disability

83. A submitter from the Accessibility and Inclusiveness Plan Sub Committee 2016/19 asked that the Disability and Inclusiveness Subcommittee continue to meet and the previous Council’s commitment to fund the Blind Squares project and the building of a "changing room" bathroom for the seriously disabled, be honoured.  The latter project was a partnership project with the Central Community Panel. He noted that the metal pipes historically used to block the ends of alleyways prevent wheelchair users from taking the shortest route to many destinations. He suggests that this is a cheap and easy fix and should be carried where appropriate.

84. He also noted that the use by the public of computers in libraries is now an essential service and during crisis times these are needed for: medical consultations, banking, Work and Income and ordering food.

Other

85. Submitters proposed a range of other projects and funding proposals including:

·       funding to support non council owned heritage (1 and 2) buildings to undertake earth-quake strengthening

·       planting more large trees like along the riverbank cycle/walk tracks and Petone beach, more seating

·       Continued support for the establishment and growth of businesses in the valley.

·       Vesting a private road in Naenae back to Council

·       Raising the seawall created by the Eastern Bays Shared Pathway to provide future resilience and protection for the Council's infrastructure such as the road and the utility services that run along it.

·       Youth funding

·       Living wage for directly employed and contracted workers for the council

·       More assistance for elderly residents

Areas where savings proposed – 70 respondents left comments

Savings

Number and sentiment of comments

Amenities fund

1 comment

Cooperating cities

1 comment

Community engagement

8 comments

Libraries

15 comments

Parks

5 comment

Pools

8 comments

Roads

10 comments

Staff costs

11 comment

Other

25 comments mentioning other projects – most frequently mentioned areas where savings could be made are: Naenae Pool (7), climate change engagement (4), and RiverLink (3)

General

16 general comments about savings

 

Projects that are to be put on hold – 38 respondents made comments

Projects

Number and sentiment of comments

Three waters

5 comments

Cycleways

4 comments

Naenae Pool

9 comments

Other

6 comments

General

23 comments

 

Community engagement

86. Those that commented did not support a reduction in funding for community engagement. They saw community engagement as being crucial to the ongoing success of the city, thought it should be a priority especially at the moment and saw decreasing community engagement as reducing the amount of quality ideas that could benefit our communities and giving council greater control with less resistance.

Libraries

87. Those people that commented did not wish to see any reduction in library services. On submitter commented that reducing the operational costs of pools and libraries when these are the community’s lifelines for enjoyment and recreation is detrimental to the area, especially at a time when they have been unable to use them at all during Covid. They saw the cost saving as small.

Parks

88. Most of those that commented did not support the cost cuts to parks and thought these needed to increase not decrease. One submitter thought that these suggested savings appeared to make sense but worried that reducing work on roads and the operational costs for parks would result in longer term higher costs.

Pools

89. Again, most of those that commented were concerned about a significant reduction in community facility services like pools as they felt were going to be needed now more than ever.

Roads

90. Submitters didn’t agree with the proposal that minor works on roads be reduced. Their view was that minor maintenance now becomes major if not fixed, this achieves very minimal savings, the roads need to be well maintained to stay safe and usable overtime and will have to be maintained eventually anyway.

91. Overall the view was that we cannot afford to let our road infrastructure fall into disrepair and that tighter controls needed to be implemented with quality so money wasn’t wasted having the roads constantly resurfaced.

Staff costs/Staff Accommodation

92. Concern was expressed about continuing to reduce council operational costs and the impact that this would have on service levels.  Council employees were seen as a crucial part of the local economy and there were comments about maintaining staffing levels to keep services ticking over and not making savings at the expense of lower paid people.   The potential loss of in-house expertise was also mentioned.

Options

93.  There are no options.

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

94.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.

95.  There was support greater investment in responding to climate change and commented in particular about recycling and rubbish services and reducing the city’s carbon footprint.   

Consultation

96.  This submissions analysis presents an overview of feedback received during the draft Annual Plan emergency budget engagement period of 8 May to 22 May. The engagement activity is outlined in the background and discussion sections of the paper.

Legal Considerations

97.  There are no legal considerations.

Financial Considerations

98.  There are no financial considerations.

Appendices

There are no appendices for this report.    

 

 

Author: Wendy Moore

Head of Strategy and Planning

 

 

Reviewed By: Helen Oram

Director Environmental & Sustainability

 

 

Approved By: Jo Miller

Chief Executive