“Left and Right” Support In General The Mayor’s LTP Proposal

Budget Committee will be interesting though

The day where Generation Zero and Councillor Cameron Brewer both offer general support on the Mayor’s Long Term Plan proposal you wonder if you are dreaming. However, we were not dreaming as we heard Councillor Brewer’ speech today in which he gave general support to the Mayor’s proposals. Now that said all Councillors have issues with individual Budget lines today but were in that general support frame of mind.

Providing things do not fall apart at the Budget Committee next week we should see the Councillors entering the debate in a good state of mind rather than fractured.

From Cameron Brewer then Generation Zero

Mayor’s proposal a step in the right direction

Mayor’s proposal a step in the right direction

The Mayor’s proposal for the final 10-year budget is a step in the right direction, says Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer.

“This is probably his best effort in the past five years in my very humble opinion. I encourage the public and business sector to now have a look at the Mayor’s latest direction-setting attempt and get their feedback to us councillors in the coming days.

“He’s certainly hugging more of the centre ground and has addressed some of the political and public concerns raised. As a centre-left mayor he’s effectively sending a clear and concise message – and that is ‘Back off, Phil Goff!’

“While a 2.5% average regional rates increase is better than the 3.5% let’s not forget many residents in higher valued properties will be up for much more, not helped by the Mayor’s determination to unfortunately stick to a low Uniform Annual General Charge.

“With this resetting of the base rate, we now need to satisfy ourselves that council core service levels will not suffer. Our communities want our parks, reserves, town centres and council facilities maintained to an acceptable level. Many councillors remain concerned as do local boards.

“If we’re wanting to save more money I would rather see a wage and salary freeze – from an enormous operational budget line that keeps climbing and has a huge impact on our rates requirements.

“I am pleased the Mayor’s proposed $99 transport targeted rate is a fixed amount and not based on property valuations. But I am concerned that the narrowing of the business differential target has now been stretched out to 2036/37.

“On asset optimisation, let’s make sure this work includes a full assessment of our strategic assets namely the port, airport and film studios. Let’s assess any possible proceeds for other future investments verses forecast annual dividends. It’s time to see the numbers and have the public debate. A public debate on possible strategic asset sell-downs needs to be part of the next 2018 LTP at the very latest. It’s long overdue.

“Rightly or wrongly the Mayor has nailed his colours to the mast when it comes to tolls. The challenge now is for the Mayor to convince the Government of any merits and soon to help ensure any transport targeted rate is in fact interim. It would be great for the Minister of Finance to acknowledge on 21 May Budget Day that the Government is at least meaningfully engaged with Auckland on progressing such funding issues.

“It would also be beneficial for ratepayers to be assured sooner rather than later that the City Rail Link is in fact a 50/50 project with the cost to be shared equally by council and government. At the moment it’s a 58/42 project with the Government so far only committing to funding the main works from 2020, not the entire works.”

Mr Brewer says the Mayor has engaged councillors well over recent weeks to digest the public feedback and take on and reflect suggestions.

“I’m pleased he’s considering taking up some of my ideas such as instead of cutting community library hours to save $1.1m, council will consider introducing a small charge for library users who order books that need couriering from another library. That could be a better way to plug any budget shortfall.

“Rest assured in the coming days and weeks I’ll also be pushing for more local investment in the heavily rated Orakei ward, including advancing a new Meadowbank Community Centre, a Selwyn Rail Station in Pourewa Valley, and delivering a better and safer Tamaki Drive,” says Mr Brewer.


Source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1504/S00699/mayors-proposal-a-step-in-the-right-direction.htm

The part in bold was checked by those watching the Governing Body yesterday both at Town Hall and watching the feed as I was, and I can say Brewer said that. That being telling Finance Minister Bill English to contribute their 50% of the City Rail Link ASAP rather than 42% in 2020.

Generation Zero:

Support for Mayors 10 year budget – Generation Zero

Support for Mayors 10 year budget – Generation Zero

Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is supportive of the 10 year Long Term Plan that Auckland Mayor Len Brown released today, specifically endorsing the Mayor’s focus on essential cycling, walking and public transport projects.
The Mayor today released Auckland Council’s 10 year budget after analysing feedback from the community on the draft Long Term Plan. The Mayor’s budget is supportive of the Auckland Plan Transport Network and acknowledges the need to prioritise projects that offer transport choices over the next 3 years. This follows public feedback on the Long Term Plan which demonstrated that Aucklanders urgently wanted more invested in public transport and cycling.
Spokesperson Dr Sudhvir Singh explains; “The Mayor’s budget is another step in the right direction for Auckland. This budget is an opportunity to prioritise the essential public transport, walking and cycling projects that Aucklanders have called for.”
The Mayor’s budget is proposing to fund immediate new investment in transport of $500 million over the next 3 years with an interim fixed levy of $2 per week on Aucklanders.
“We’re pleased to see the Mayor has taken on the recommendations we made in our report Fix Our City,that proposed essential walking, cycling and public transport projects should be prioritised” explains Dr Singh. Over 3000 Aucklanders submitted in favour of the essential transport budget proposed in Fix Our City, which called for $80 million of additional annual funding to the basic plan proposal to fund high value public transport, walking and cycling projects.
“This is generally a balanced budget from the Mayor, looking at the information that is currently available, however we need to see more detail of the specific projects funded in the next 3 years


Source: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1504/S00688/support-for-mayors-10-year-budget-generation-zero.htm

As I said above the Councillors are in general support but will have issues on individual lines. What they must bear in mind was the Long Term Plan submissions. Remember we want investment not in Transport but PUBLIC and ACTIVE Transport.