Pupils from around the region will benefit from discounted swimming pool costs for school lessons.

During Council discussions on the draft annual plan at the June 11 Council meeting, the reduced rate of $1.50 per pupil for schools using the TSB Pool Complex was questioned by Councillor Squire.

He said only pupils from the Stratford District should have the reduction, arguing students from New Plymouth or South Taranaki should pay the usual price.

Deputy Mayor Alan Jamieson spoke against Squire's suggestion.

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"I want to see all pupils get in as cheap as they can."

Councillor Sandford supported Mr Jamieson.

"Let's get kids swimming. If they're coming from out of town there is a cost to them anyway."

The resolution that the discount be restricted to Stratford schools was lost, with councillors Webby and Squire the only two voting in favour.

The Annual Plan was then adopted without changes.

In March 2019 the Council agreed that there would be no formal consultation on the 2019/20 Annual Plan, as it is not significantly different from what is set out in Year Two of the LTP. People were still invited to provide feedback on the draft Annual Plan up until May 3. No significant changes were needed.

"This Plan is built on a continuation of activities within the Long Term Plan (LTP) 2018-28, with the basis of retaining essential services and community facilities for the Stratford district, while maintaining existing levels of service," Mayor Neil Volzke said.

"We're pleased to have kept it affordable for ratepayers, maintaining the proposed rates increase of 4.69 per cent as set out in the LTP for Year Two. Council has incorporated a number of unforeseen costs into this Plan that would have further increased rates, had we not been able to identify savings in other areas."

"Council's focus for 2019/20 continues to be on our vision of making Stratford a progressive, prosperous district where communities are celebrated. Delivery of key community initiatives such as the Stratford Discovery Trail, new pool and children's bike park is part of this," said Neil.

Key projects that will progress in year two and beyond include:
• The Council subdivision off Pembroke Road
• The new swimming pool
• The children's bike park
• Prospero Place / Broadway development
• The Stratford Discovery Trail – a guided walk connecting many of Stratford's historic and more recent landmarks
• Wastewater treatment upgrades to obtain and comply with a new resource consent, which will ultimately improve the water quality of the Patea River
• District Plan Review
• Resolution of historic boundary issues in Midhirst

Breakdown of numbers for 2019/20:
• Total Operating Expenditure is $18.6 million
•34 per cent of Council operational expenditure goes into Roading and footpaths
• 50 per cent of Council operational expenditure is on the core activities of roads, water and waste
• 47 per cent of Council's income will come from sources other than rates
•Total debt is projected to increase to $16.7 million by the end of 2019/20.