Community feedback is being called for to help shape the Stratford District Council's plans and priorities for the next 12 months
The draft of the council's annual plan for 2022-23, for year two of the Long-Term Plan (LTP) 2021-31, has been released for community consultation, after elected members signed off on the draft document at the March ordinary meeting of the council last Tuesday.
Stratford mayor Neil Volzke said while the LTP was finalised only last year, some changes were necessary.
"Twelve months ago we finalised the LTP, and, due to a number of challenges, we are in a position of needing to adjust, adapt and discuss proposed changes to this plan with the community."
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At the meeting, the council's director of corporate services, Tiffany Radich, told elected members the plan contained a slightly higher than originally planned proposed rates increase. This change, from the originally proposed overall rates increase of 6.41 per cent in the LTP to 6.21 per cent was due to a range of factors, including increased costs, general price increases across the board and regulatory changes bringing additional costs with them.
Officers had worked hard to keep the increase as low as possible, she said, finding ways to keep delivering services without putting too much further cost on to ratepayers.
Other key changes proposed in the plan include the introduction of a forestal differential to the roading rate and changes to some fees and charges for the aerodrome as well as for some building services provided by the council, swimming pool fees and pensioner housing rents.
The draft is now out for public consultation until Monday, April 11, and full copies of the draft plan, consultation document and revenue and financing policy are available to view online, at the Stratford Library and Visitor Information Centre or from the council's service centre on Miranda Street.
Disclaimer: Editor Ilona Hanne is married to the chief executive of the Stratford District Council.