Some will campaign on the plank that they will reduce rates. The only way that rates can be significantly reduced is with a significant reduction in services that we expect our Council to deliver.
Obviously we would all like to pay less in rates but we also want to see the parks and reserves mowed more often and the power lines put underground and our rubbish collected for no extra charge and our swimming pools replaced and an upgrade for our old community hall and the tar seal extended on the rural roads and and and …
For some years now, previous Councils have adopted a measured approach to spending, service delivery, debt reduction and rates increases. Should some catastrophe affect our district there is a significant margin between the current WBPDC debt and the amount that could be borrowed under statutory limits. Many councils in New Zealand have borrowed right up to their limit so cannot afford necessary infrastructure works and have no capacity to cope with the unexpected.
Prudence is the key: Minimise rates increases, carefully control spending and ensure Council services deliver what the community expects. That said, I will continue to advocate for the removal of damaging silica from our water supply, even if it costs us a little more for the water we use.
A secondary school in Omokoroa is another priority that Council should continue to advocate for strongly.
And State Highways 2 and 29?
Continue the pressure on central government and NZTA to deliver a proper solution, not a sticking plaster patch-up for these important highways.