2023/24 Annual Plan keeps focus on public transport and flood risk
Environment Canterbury has honoured its commitment for a public transport fare trial, and continued flood recovery and remediation work for the region, as part of its 2023/24 Annual Plan.
Chair Peter Scott said Council was committed to promises made to the community, however, due to rising costs across all work programmes, revenue from rates needed to increase by 10%.
“We are looking forward to trialing cheaper public transport fares for the community, continuing our flood recovery and remediation work, and working to safeguard the region from the impacts of climate change as part of our 2023/24 Annual Plan.
“When developing the Plan, we heard from the community how the current cost-of-living crisis is impacting household budgets, and that some people want us to take more urgent action for our environment.”
Scott said the Plan tried to strike the right balance between affordability and what needed to be done. The rise in rates could have been higher, but Council wasn’t prepared to pass on anything more than 10%.
“We have increasing pressure and responsibility placed on us to provide and respond to what the community needs from us, what the environment demands from us, and what we’re required to do by law.
“We took a hard look at our work programmes and managed to find considerable savings, however, have still had to pass on some costs to the community.
“Everyone will be impacted differently – the change in rates will be determined by where you live and the value of your property.”
Scott said the rate increase included the 4.6 per cent rise that was agreed to in 2021 as part of the development of the Council’s Long-Term Plan, as well as increased budget for initiatives – such as the public transport fare trial and flood recovery spending – agreed to as part of last year’s 2022/23 Annual Plan process.
“Early next year we will ask the community for their input again as we develop our next Long-Term Plan – which is essentially the Council’s contract with the community.
“The Long-Term Plan process is an opportunity for Cantabrians to help us identify and prioritise the outcomes they expect from us as their regional council, in the medium to long term.”
The Annual Plan 2023/24 was formally adopted by Council on Wednesday 21 June 2023 and will come into effect on 1 July 2023.