Governing Body Meeting: Annual Plan Consultation Document (aka Rates) to be Formalised

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On Thursday the Governing Body of Auckland Council will meet to formalise the consultation document for the Annual Plan 2017-2018 (aka the yearly Budget document) with an extensive consultation program to be undertaken (more so than normal for an Annual Plan).

 

From Auckland Council:

Governing Body – 09 February 2017  

Annual Plan 2017/2018 – Adoption of consultation material and approval of consultation approach

File No.: CP2017/00848

 

Purpose

  1. To adopt the Supporting Information, Consultation Document, the Draft Tūpuna Maunga Operational Plan and approve the consultation approach for the Annual Plan 2017/2018.

Executive summary

  1. For the 2017/2018 financial year, the council must prepare and adopt a Consultation Document which sets out any proposed significant or material differences to year three of its current ten-year budget.  The council must also adopt the associated Supporting Information before it adopts the Consultation Document.
  2. On 15 December 2016, the Governing Body agreed the consultation topics for the Annual Plan 2017/2018.  During November and December 2016, local boards also met to adopt their consultation content that covers key local proposals and advocacy areas.  Public consultation will run from Monday, 27 February 2017 to Monday, 27 March 2017.
  3. Following the decisions made by the Governing Body and local boards, staff have developed a Consultation Document and Supporting Information that will provide the basis for consultation with the community.  These documents have been developed in conjunction with council’s Legal team to ensure that they meet legislative requirements.  The questions on the feedback form have been developed in conjunction with the University of Auckland.
  4. The council has flexibility in how it undertakes consultation, in particular in how the council can collect feedback and hear the views of Aucklanders.  Following feedback received from elected members at the Finance and Performance workshop on 6 December 2016, staff have developed an approach to consultation with the following key components:
    1. 22 Have Your Say (HYS) events across Auckland to provide an opportunity for spoken interaction with decision makers, supported by staff to record feedback received
    2. utilisation of Our Auckland to raise awareness by providing a summary of the key issues and proposals for consultation in the March edition, with local board content being tailored to each area
    3. utilisation of written, in person, and digital feedback channels
    4. in July a summary of the final decisions made will be developed and made available on ShapeAuckland, as well as at libraries, local board offices and service centres
  1. Legislation also requires the Tūpuna Maunga Authority and Auckland Council to agree an Annual Operational Plan as part of the Annual Plan Process.  This requires the council to consult on the Draft Tūpuna Maunga Operational Plan.  A joint meeting of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority and the council has been scheduled in April to consider submissions relating to the plan.
  2. The next steps to finalise the Annual Plan are set out at the end of this report.  Final decisions will be made on 1 June 2017 and the Governing Body will meet to adopt the Annual Plan 2017/2018 on 29 June 2017.

 

Recommendation/s

That the Governing Body:

a)      adopt the Supporting Information for the Annual Plan 2017/2018.

b)      adopt the Consultation Document for the Annual Plan 2017/2018.

c)      adopt the Draft Tūpuna Maunga Operational Plan 2017/2018.

d)      delegate responsibility to the Mayor, the Chair of Finance and Performance Committee and the Group Chief Financial Officer to approve any final edits required to the Consultation Document, Supporting Information, and Draft Tūpuna Maunga Operational Plan in order to finalise the documents for printing and distribution.

e)      approve the public consultation approach for the Annual Plan noting that:

i)        public consultation will run from Monday, 27 February 2017 to Monday, 27 March 2017

ii)       feedback can be provided through written, in person and digital channels

iii)      Have Your Say events will be held across the region to allow Aucklanders to provide feedback and have their views heard

iv)      regional and local briefing reports will be prepared to provide a summary of public feedback received across all channels

v)      the council will participate in a joint deliberations meeting with the Tūpuna Maunga Authority on their Annual Operational Plan

vi)      a summary of the final decisions made will be prepared in July and widely communicated.

 

……

 

Approach to consultation and engagement

  1. There are four key phases to the consultation and engagement process:
    1. Phase One:    Pre-consultation
    2. Phase Two:    Consultation, analysis and reporting
    3. Phase Three:  Adoption
    4. Phase Four:    Closing the loop
  1. Each of these four phases is discussed below.

Phase One: Pre-consultation

  1. The ShapeAuckland website will act as the engagement hub for the Annual Plan 2017/2018 and will house the Consultation Document, Supporting Information, local information and an online feedback form.  Communications activities will raise awareness of the Annual Plan 2017/2018 and also point people to ShapeAuckland for more information.
  2. Key elements of the communications campaign include:
    1. a household summary, including a feedback form will be included in the March edition of Our Auckland (as it is cost effective, allows tailored messaging to local board areas, and utilises an existing channel for communicating with residents)
    2. advertising the Annual Plan 2017/2018 consultation, the opportunity to get involved and the events (print and online) between 27 February and 27 March 2017
    3. Shape Auckland – ongoing updates, events pages, social media, Annual Plan 2017/2018 key issues for consultation video
    4. proactive media engagement
    5. update via the Peoples panel database, Shape Auckland database, Local board channels and contacts with specific groups
  1. The key things we are doing differently this time are:
    1. targeting organisations with good networks (such as the Korean Society; Chinese New Settlers Trust; Future Dragons; Shanti Niwas)
    2. advertising in ethnic media using translated adverts
    3. using UpSouth – The Southern Initiative project to engage with young people in South Auckland
    4. using different types of events – (Music in the Parks; Pasifika; Kumeu A&P Show), not just to raise awareness, but for gathering feedback/HYS purposes too
    5. using our own facilities – events at libraries, leisure centres and markets – targeting foreign speaking book clubs and we’ve never been at leisure centres before
    6. targeting certain communities – events areas with high populations of certain diverse groups
    7. working with Community Empowerment Unit and their Strategic Brokers to use their networks
    8. using the Auckland Conversations that are happening to promote the Annual Budget
    9. attending English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes
    10. segmenting the People’s Panel to reach audiences we don’t usually hear from
    11. using the library bus at events – drawing attention and giving people another reason to come and talk to us

Phase Two: Consultation, analysis and reporting

  1. The household summary (included in the March edition of Our Auckland) will be delivered to Auckland households on the weekend of 25-26 February, which is the beginning of the consultation period.
  2. The household summary will include a feedback form and a local insert setting out the priorities for the relevant area.  It will also encourage Aucklanders to go online to read the Consultation Document and Supporting Information or to complete an online feedback form.  The summary (of regional content) as well as the feedback form will also be available in the following languages online and in hard copy: Māori, Chinese, Samoan, Korean, Tongan and accessible versions.
  3. The feedback form is expected to be the primary mechanism Aucklanders use to provide their feedback on the annual plan.  Feedback forms will be attached to the household summary and included within the Consultation Document.  They will also be available online, in libraries, service centres and local board offices.  Feedback forms can be submitted via freepost, email or completed online.
  4. Public feedback will also be collected at Have Your Say events scheduled from 27 February 2017.  The primary purpose of these events is for council staff and elected members to listen to the views of Aucklanders.  Staff will ensure public feedback is accurately recorded.  Have Your Say events were a successful avenue for raising awareness and gaining on feedback during consultation on the LTP and the Annual Budget 2016/2017.  Some events will target certain communities.
  5. 22 HYS events are planned across the region, made up of the following events:
    1. 17 events across the region – these events will take a couple of formats: round-table forum style or drop-in stands at existing community events and/or libraries
    2. five events will be tailored to meet the needs of specific audiences.  These include:
      1. one event tailored for key stakeholders
      2. one event tailored for Mana Whenua
      3. three hui with Māori.
  1. In addition, one event (not classified as HYS) will be held to focus on the Tūpuna Maunga Authority draft operational plan.  This will be attended by Tūpuna Maunga Authority members including the Councillors on the Tūpuna Maunga Authority board.
  2. A further 10 existing events (e.g. Music in the Parks) will be attended not only to raise awareness, but also to collect feedback.
  3. A range of options are available for the structure and format of the HYS events.  This flexibility will enable events to be tailored to account for logistical variations in the number of Aucklanders who attend, what they would like to talk about, and the number and mix of elected members available.  At events, where possible, we will capture people’s contact details.
  4. Additional events may be set up by some local boards to support more tailored engagement on local issues in local board agreements.  These will be supported by the Local Board Services department and will tend to focus on continuing ongoing engagement within the local community on local priorities.  Public feedback may be recorded at these events.
  5. Shape Auckland will be the digital hub for the Annual Plan 2017/2018 communications and engagement campaign.  There are a variety of ways in which digital and social media channels will be used to support the communications campaign.
  6. Public feedback will be collected and processed from all channels:
    1. written feedback received through feedback forms, emails, letters , etc. and proformas will be processed through the Feedback Management System
    2. feedback from Have Your Say Events will be collected by trained note-takers and processed through the Feedback Management System
    3. feedback from other community events will also be collected by note takers and processed through the Feedback Management System
    4. feedback received from digital/social media will be collected and analysed by the social media team within Communications and Engagement.
    5. Feedback from all channels will be analysed by a senior staff member responsible for a particular regional theme or local board.  Briefing reports will be developed providing a summary of the feedback received across each channel through consultation.  Feedback received on topics that are not related to the annual plan will be forwarded to the appropriate department for follow-up action.

Phase Three: Adoption

  1. Local board briefings will form part of the local board workshops/meetings between 26 April -9 May 2017.  Regional briefings will take place on 26 April 2017.
  2. The Finance and Performance Committee will meet on 1 June 2017 to make final decisions for the annual plan.  The Governing Body will meet to adopt the final annual plan on 29 June 2017 and strike the rates.

Phase Four: Closing the loop

  1. The council has to make sure that people who provided views have access to a clear description of the Annual Plan 2017/2018 decisions, with explanatory material.  We plan to provide this information on the Shape Auckland and council websites and then communicate this by:
    1. emailing people who have participated in the process
    2. OurAuckland and council digital and social channels
    3. media release
    4. print and online advertising
  1. Following consultation, an event to close the loop with key stakeholders, Māori groups and mana whenua will be determined given the level of interest.

Next steps

  1. Once adopted, the Consultation Document and Supporting Information will be finalised for print and distributed to libraries, service centres, local board offices and made available online in time for the start of the consultation process on Monday 27 February 2017.
  2. The summary document, including local board content, will also be finalised, printed and included in the March edition of Our Auckland.  Online content for ShapeAuckland will be prepared to provide the digital engagement hub for the Annual Plan 2017/2018.
  3. Translations of a two page summary of regional issues and feedback form will be prepared in Māori, Chinese, Samoan, Korean, Tongan and accessible versions.  The translated summaries will be available online, at relevant HYS events, libraries, service centres and local board offices and will also be actively distributed via council networks.

Annual budget review

  1. Staff will be undertaking their standard annual review process across all council budgets for the 2017/2018 year in February – March 2016.  This will include a review of cost pressures, progress against savings targets and any changes to the capital programme.  It will also include an update on planning assumptions for key items such as inflation and dividend expectations.
  2. A briefing on the budget following this review will be provided to combined Finance and Performance Committee and local board chairs on 6 April 2017 ahead of final decision making for the annual plan.

 

Table One: Finalising the annual plan following today

Phase Timing
Governing Body meets to adopt consultation document and supporting material 9 February
Public consultation 27 Feb – 27 Mar
Budget review briefing 6 April
Finance and Performance Committee briefing on consultation  feedback 26 April
Finance and Performance Committee hold discussions with local boards 12 & 13 April
Finance and Performance Committee workshop decision making for annual plan 10, 11, 17, 31 May
Finance and Performance Committee  make final decisions for the annual plan 1 June
Governing Body meet to adopt the final annual plan 29 June
Documentation will be published and made available to the public and information on the decisions made will be shared with people who participated in the consultation process. July

……..

Source: http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2017/02/GB_20170209_AGN_6753_AT_WEB.htm

 

 

Bit empty at the August 2015 Regional Strat and policy meeting today
Bit empty at the August 2015 Regional Strat and policy meeting today. 

 

The above material is two-fold:

  1. What we are to be consulted on
  2. How the Annual Plan will be arrived at when it is adopted on June 29

 

What we are to be consulted on will be of main interest to a lot of people. This is because for the first time we are given the option of which level of Rates rise you would like. The three levels are:

  1. 2%
  2. 2.5%
  3. 3.5%

Each level has consequences (either positive, negative or both) on what can be funded and what would be cut in terms of operating expenditure and capital expenditure (investment). The consultation document will spell this out very clearly if you do decide to make submission in on the Annual Plan.

 

How the Annual Plan will be arrived at is one for policy wonks like myself will be interested in. The consultation round seems more extensive than normally done for an Annual Plan so it will be very interesting to see both how the debate goes and how the debate is received by both Councillors and the public alike. I am also be keeping an eye on usual quarters who like to flame things along (say they go Trump) as well.

More on the Annual Plan when the documents come out later this month but in the meantime have a think on what you would like your Rates spent on (or saved on) under the Goff administration.

 

budget

 

 

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