2017 Media Releases
Have your say on Council’s Operational Plan and Budget for the coming year
09 May 2017
Willoughby Council’s Draft 2017-2018 Operational Plan, Budget, Revenue and Pricing Policies - Schedule of Fees and Charges will be available for public consultation from 11 May, following approval for public exhibition at last night’s Council meeting (Monday 8 May).
The Draft Operational Plan provides the services and activities that will be undertaken within the next year, to make progress against the commitments made in Council’s four year Delivery Program. Sitting alongside this is Council’s draft Budget, with projected income and expenditure and a schedule of fees and charges.
The Budget component represents good news for ratepayers with highlights including:
- A budget surplus
- Annual rates in line with the permissible rate increase
- No increase in domestic waste service charges for the second consecutive year
- Minimal fee increases where possible (whilst keeping pace with existing inflation levels)
- Projected spend of $27.174M on projects and capital works
The complete list of Capital Works, in which projects have been ranked following a rigorous prioritisation process, is included, with key projects during the 2017/18 year including:
- $10.5M – Gore Hill Park redevelopment Phase One. The work to be completed will increase the number of people, the range of people and times they can use Gore Hill Park. The project includes re-alignment of the existing oval and relocation of existing floodlighting, installation of synthetic playing surface and related drainage, construction of an on-site storm water detention system, construction of a regional playground, outdoor ball courts and outdoor gym.
- $300,000 – Stormwater Harvesting Construction Program. Council plans to install a water harvesting and re-use system at Bicentennial Reserve Oval to future-proof Council’s ongoing water costs. The system will be used as a prototype for future systems throughout the Willoughby Local Government Area.
- $1.41M – Willoughby Leisure Centre will offer more contemporary and functional change room facilities, with a refurbishment to include rearrangement of shower and toilet facilities, an accessibility upgrade, painting and new fittings and fixtures.
Council’s continued commitment to sound financial management and high quality services is demonstrated by the inclusion of a list of Business Improvement Initiatives that will take place throughout the year. Initiatives in the 2017/18 year are aimed at improving process efficiency and customer service, including:
- Review of customer service processes to become more responsive
- Review community venue management to increase community utilisation of venues
- Development Approval process improvements to reduce determination time and provide clearer lodgement requirements
“I encourage all community members to review and have their say on Council’s Draft Operational Plan and Budget for 2017/18, as this is our roadmap for what and how we deliver for you, our community over the coming year. The overarching aim of these plans is to ensure we are providing for our local community well into the future, through funding a wide range of improvements, services and programs,” said Willoughby Mayor, Gail Giles-Gidney.
“Council continues a holistic approach to budget management, aimed at reducing costs through increased internal efficiency and better business processes. It will also ensure Council is in the best possible position, as we move forward through times of potential change,” Mayor Gail added.
The Draft Operational Plan and Budget will be made available online at HaveYourSayWilloughby.com.au and in hard copy at Council reception, and at Chatswood and branch libraries. The exhibition period will run for 28 days, from 11 May to 7 June 2017. The community can provide feedback through the Have Your Say Willoughby site, or in writing addressed to the General Manager at: The General Manager, Willoughby City Council, PO Box 57, Chatswood, NSW 2057.
All feedback received will be reviewed before the final Operational Plan and Budget is presented to Council for adoption.
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