Annual Plan Consultation Document ready for community input

19/03/2019 3:47am

Nelson City Council will meet on Thursday to adopt, in principle, the 2019/2020 Annual Plan Consultation Document, before it is released for public consultation at the end of this month.

The Consultation Document sets out adjustments to the second year of the Long Term Plan (LTP) 2018-28 which Council consulted the community on last year. 

Projects and programmes are assessed against Council’s commitment to delivering a balanced programme of work that supports our priorities of future-proofing core infrastructure, protecting and enhancing our natural environment, developing our city centre, and lifting Council performance.

Council remains committed to getting the right balance between projects to meet the ongoing needs of the city and its residents alongside the requirement to carefully manage rates and debt levels within the cap set in the LTP. 

The Annual Plan Consultation Document proposes an average rates rise of 4.2%, which is close to the 3.9% projected in the LTP (0.3% variation). 

The total Net Debt is forecast to be $91.9 million, which is $29.6 million less than projected in the LTP.

Climate change also has a strong focus in this year’s plan with Council recognising that climate change is a key challenge for our region, and will drive a need for greater mitigation, adaptation, innovation and resilience.  

Mayor Reese says, “Addressing climate change now, urgently, gives us the greatest potential to manage risks and harness economic opportunities for innovation and diversification. We can all play a part in reducing the impact of climate change that has benefits for us as individuals, the wider community and the planet.”
Council’s focus on the central city also continues this year. 

We will design and scope a range of projects to support and develop existing precincts and link them to Nelson’s outstanding natural and cultural environment. 

We are also working to improve walkability and liveability, and encourage high quality development and investment.  

Building on the success of the Trafalgar Street Summer closure, a series of trials will be undertaken to use laneways, and promote hospitality and events. 

This will contribute to the city centre being an exciting and attractive place to enjoy throughout the year. It will also build momentum as we work towards a refreshed City Centre Plan. 
Council’s ability to deliver a range of high-quality amenities and services to our community relies on a well-resourced and capable Council. Council has already set about appointing new staff in critical roles, addressing pay disparities and improving systems to ensure greater delivery and accountability. 

There is however more to do and the LTP proposed a three year period to address staffing issues, but the Annual Plan Consultation Document is proposing that this work be accelerated. 

We want to capitalise on opportunities to maintain and enhance Nelson as one of the best places to live, work and visit, and seek your support in enabling Council to do so.

Council has also been considering the best way to achieve much needed investment in its community housing portfolio. We recognise the need for social housing is continuing to grow and we have been looking at how we can leverage our community housing portfolio to strengthen the city’s position in this area. 

The Consultation Document seeks the community’s view on Council’s proposal to divest some or all of its community housing units.

Council recognises that we need to support all of our citizens, including the most vulnerable, so a $50,000 increase in our funds allocation is proposed to support social development partnerships in Nelson.

“In preparing our Annual Plan Consultation Document we have retained  absolute clarity on our priorities, acknowledged the urgency of responding to the climate change challenge, and kept our eyes on our vision - Nelson the Smart Little City - he tāone tōrire a Whakatū”, says Mayor Reese.

Submissions on the Annual Plan Consultation Document open on 29 March and close on 2 May 2019.