Residents invited to provide feedback on Council’s draft plans
Published on 18 May 2023
Willoughby City Council is inviting residents to provide feedback on Council’s draft Operational Plan 2023/24 and draft Long Term Financial Plan.
The draft Operational Plan details services and projects Council will provide and how they will fund these in the upcoming financial year and includes the annual budget, annual rates, projects and capital works, user fees and charges for Council services and facilities.
The $68.5m of capital works outlined in the Plan includes:
Willoughby Mayor Tanya Taylor said the exciting list of major projects to be progressed in 2023-24 would help protect the environment, increase green spaces, enhance recreational facilities, create vibrant local centres and foster connected and liveable communities throughout Willoughby’s Local Government area.
The draft Long Term Financial Plan has a longer term ten-year horizon and outlines the Council’s response to an unprecedented and volatile economic climate which is challenging its current sound financial position.
Despite recent and ongoing work to identify cost savings, create a more efficient workplace, and success in winning external funding, increased revenue is required to address broader economic conditions outside of Council’s control.
These economic conditions include higher depreciation costs (resulting from higher asset values) and ongoing high inflation levels well above official forecasts.
Based upon new modelling, the draft Long Term Financial Plan proposes that the Council examine a Special Rate Variation of 15-20%, to apply from 2024/25.
This revenue is required to ensure the Council can continue to provide high-quality services, maintain assets and parks and deliver significant new community projects over the next decade. It will also provide some capacity for increased service levels such as additional streetscape maintenance.
“Council has not yet made a decision to apply for an increase in rates, and will be encouraging residents to engage in our consultation processes over the next 12 months.
“We are however, committed to operating in a financially sustainable way to continue to deliver, reprioritise, improve or increase services that benefit the whole community.
“We now look forward to hearing detailed community feedback on these foundational documents,” Mayor Taylor said.
The draft Operational Plan and draft Long Term Financial Plan are available to be downloaded with comments sought on or before 15 June 2023. The Council will be considering community feedback, and making a final decision, on the plans at its 26 June 2023 meeting.