Annual plan consultation opens

by Kent Caddick

Ratepayers are being invited to have their say on the Selwyn District Council’s draft annual plan, which has forecast an annual rates increase of 4.5% for the 2017–18 financial year.

The plan has been released for public consultation and among the projects set out in the draft is the introduction of a district-wide standard rate for stormwater, plans to increase the size of the Selwyn Aquatic Centre and a proposal to establish a Health Hub in Rolleston to improve access to health and social services.

“No one likes to pay more in rates and yet as councillors we hear about increasing demand on council to supply services and make infrastructure improvements for our community,” Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton said.

“This document is our response to current community demand and lays out a possible direction for discussion.”

Mayor Broughton said the main factors influencing the rate increase include the proposed increase in the library rate, an increase in general rates and an increase in the district water rate.

Council is also planning to increase grant funding for new community facilities at Dunsandel, Tai Tapu and West Melton, carry out seismic strengthening on Sheffield, Ladbrooks and Springston halls and accelerate the development of Foster Park in Rolleston.

Detailed design and planning work will also begin in the next year on a new multi-use library, learning, technology and community space in Rolleston.

Some of the local projects planned include resurfacing Southbridge tennis courts, completing water treatment upgrades at Arthur’s Pass, Hororata, Sheffield and Castle Hill, and developing a new community park in West Melton.

Consultation on the council’s Draft Annual Plan are open until May 3 and consultation information and submission forms are available on the council’s website at selwyn.govt.nz/haveyoursay or from local libraries and service centres.

People will also be able to speak to council representatives about the plan at drop in sessions at: the Darfield Library and Service Centre (Thursday April 13, 10am–1pm); Rolleston Library (Thursday April 13, 4–7pm); Leeston Library and Service Centre (Tuesday April 18, 9am–12pm) and Lincoln Library and Service Centre (Tuesday April 18, 2–5pm).