Horizons Regional Council seeks feedback to their revised 2020-21 Annual Plan

Horizons Regional Council are proposing a one per cent average rate increase as part of their revised 2020-21 Annual Plan. Community feedback is being sought from today, until 5pm Sunday 17 May 2020.

Horizons chair Rachel Keedwell says Council were set to adopt their 2020-21 Annual Plan for community consultation on 24 March 2020.

“The initial Annual Plan proposed an average rate increase of 5.95 per cent. However, due to the COVID-19 response, this process was suspended,” says Cr Keedwell.

“We have since revised our proposed 2020-21 Annual Plan, taking into consideration potential post-pandemic social and economic impact to the Manawatū-Whanganui Region.

“At our Regional Council meeting on 29 April, Council instead agreed on a proposed average rate increase of one per cent.

“The majority of the one per cent average rate increase is made up from rate funding for increased insurance costs, passenger transport and total mobility inflation costs, and a lower than expected income from interest returns.

“While we are proposing a smaller rate increase than initially planned, our focus remains on biodiversity, improving water quality, responding to a changing climate, promoting sustainable land management practices, and creating employment opportunities that enhance social and economic wellbeing.

“Our current level of services will remain in place, with only slight changes to the way we fund or deliver them.

“Council’s work has a direct impact on how our residents live, work and play in the Horizons Region, and the Annual Plan process determines what rates they will pay in 2020-21.

“An Annual Plan summary document can be found on Horizons’ website, providing information on the proposed rate increase and some of Council’s work programmes to help inform feedback.  

“With the intent of adopting the proposed Annual Plan at our 26 May meeting, we are seeking feedback from our residents, ratepayers, stakeholders, and partners up until 5pm Sunday 17 May. Feedback can be provided through our social media channels, an email to haveyoursay@horizons.govt.nz, by a phone call to our customer services team on 0508 800 900, or by getting in touch with their local regional councillor.”