Council seeks public feedback on budget

Local residents and ratepayers are being invited to comment on Council’s Draft Annual Budget and spending plans, following a resolution at last Wednesday’s Council meeting to place them on public exhibition.

The Draft Budget, along with the coming financial year’s Draft Fees and Charges, and Draft Operational Plan, will be available for viewing from May 8 until June 4.

Mayor Bill Taylor said the draft documents have been placed on exhibition to attract valuable feedback from the community, which will be considered prior to adoption.

“The 2014/15 Draft Budget documents are of vital importance to our operational performance,” he said.

“Getting our spending commitments right, and taking a responsible approach to efficiency gains and the costs of providing essential services for the community are the foundations of effective governance.

“Responsible government is also about listening to your community and considering feedback in the form of questions, observations and concerns.

“Our advice is to get online or go to your nearest library and read these important draft documents that outline everything we plan to do over the coming financial year.

Cr Taylor said feedback would be accepted through a variety of channels, including hardcopy, email, the comments function on Council’s website, and even Council’s Facebook page.

He did, however, urge residents to read and understand the documents before making a submission, and said that all plans and budgets are designed to be adaptable to changing situations.

In the absence of Cr Sharon Tapscott, councillors also resolved at last Wednesday’s meeting to make several amendments to the Bega Valley Local Environment Plan 2013, in order to support higher density residential development in Pambula and South Pambula.

Council will now proceed with a planning proposal for the lands identified in the amendments.

The staffing structure at Sapphire Aquatic Centre, Pambula was also on the agenda, with Council resolving to create six permanent full-time positions and eight permanent part-time positions to replace casual contracts at the centre.

Furthermore, Council voted on a request from Stop the NSW Power Sell Off to support its campaign against the sale or lease of the publicly owned electricity network.

Councillors voted 6-2 in favour of supporting the campaign, with Crs Russell Fitzpatrick and Tony Allen those against the motion.

Councillors in attendance also unanimously resolved not to establish a Council lead project control group for construction of the Snug Cove wharf extension, noting the NSW Government’s leadership role in the project.

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