2017 Media Releases
Council adopts Operational Plan and Budget for the coming year
27 June 2017
Following consultation, Willoughby Council finalised and adopted its Operational Plan and Budget for 2017/18 last night (Council Meeting of Monday 26 June).
The 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 General Fund surplus of $30,000
- No increase in Domestic Waste Service charges for the second consecutive year
- Projected spend of $27.17M on projects and capital works
o Parks, playgrounds and sporting field - $3.3M
o Culture, Leisure and Community - $8.9M
o Environment - $3.5M
o Infrastructure: roads, bridges, buildings, footpaths, stormwater, road pavements and traffic - $10.7M
- Working Funds remaining at a minimum level of $1M
- Annual rates in line with the permissible rate increase of 1.5 per cent
- Minimal fee increases where possible, by a minimum of 2.5 per cent
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
“Thank you to all community members who took the time to have your say on Council’s Draft Operational Plan and Budget for 2017/18. This is our roadmap for what and how we deliver for you, our community over the coming year, so it’s important this was done with your feedback,” said Willoughby Mayor, Gail Giles-Gidney.
“This year’s Operation Plan and Budget will ensure Council is providing for our local community well into the future, through funding a wide range of improvements, services and programs. Council will continue with its holistic approach to budget management, aimed at reducing costs through increased internal efficiency and better business processes.” Mayor Gail added.
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