Annual Plan 2011/2012
The Nelson City Council Annual Plan for 2011/12 came into effect on 1 July 2011 and covers the next 12 months.
1,704 people and organisations sent in feedback on the draft Annual Plan. Over 200 spoke at hearings to further explain their submissions. Council then made decisions on what changes were needed and adjusted the final Annual Plan as a result.
A summary of the main decisions follows, with more detail below.
In many cases, each individual submission wasn’t specifically mentioned as they might have supported funding which was already in the Annual Plan, been part of a group of similar submissions or no decision was made to change the Annual Plan funding. Generally speaking, the Annual Plan didn’t change unless Council specifically passed a resolution to change funding levels or wording.
Everyone who sent Council feedback and included contact details should have received a letter or email explaining Council’s decisions generally by mid-July 2011. Approximately 200 can expect a second letter with more detail where they made a specific request of Council.
Contact the Annual Plan project manager by email or phone +64 546 0431 if you require more information on Council’s decisions.
The main decisions
Average rates and charges increase, including water and trade waste charges, of 3.48%, excluding GST
What does that mean for a residential property owner?
Go to the rates search page link, type in your address and you can see what your rates are for 2011/12
Rutherford Park Development Proposal
No performing arts or conference centre for now, mainly due to concerns over cost; instead complete upgrade northern end of Trafalgar Centre, Maitai walkway, planning for Rutherford Park and Rutherford Park landscaping
Arts, culture and heritage
Increase investment in arts planning, the School of Music, Theatre Royal, Provincial Museum; maintain operating funding for The Suter and design work for redevelopment
No 15% increase, just Consumer Price Index increase
Rating commercial tenancies
Review policy in the draft Nelson Long Term Plan 2012-22, the earliest opportunity to update these policies
Montgomery Square upgrade
After further Council consideration of design, progress over next two financial years
Improved public transport funded by car park charges
Confirmed proposal to increase bus service between Nelson and Richmond by increasing car parking charges; Council is providing free parking on Tuesday through winter to encourage people to come to town during this quiet time
Saxton Field cycling track
Funding confirmed with project beginning in 2011/12 using TDC funding, and NCC the following year
Pedestrian refuge below Days Track
Already funding in the Annual Plan for this to be installed
Updated liability management and investment policies
Approved as proposed and available through Council and this website.
Find out more
The 2009 Nelson Community Plan as amended in 2010 and 2011 includes much more background on Council activities and financial policies.
You can also see a copy in the Council’s customer service centre and Nelson Public Libraries.
The Annual Plan is how we work out what Council will deliver over the coming year, how much it will cost and what we promise to provide for the Nelson community, all within the longer term vision of the ten year Nelson Community Plan.
The approved Annual Plan sets the summarised Council’s work budgets for the year.
If you want to know more about funding allocated to specific budgets, you can view this in the Estimates Book, which is available at the Council outlets, above.
The draft Annual Plan was open for feedback for five weeks. Submissions closed at 4pm, Friday 29 April 2011.
Council received 1,704 submissions on the draft Annual Plan, with 226 asking to speak to Council.
Council hearings were held 27, 30, 31 May and 1 June 2011.
Council made decisions on the feedback received and updated the budgets on 10, 13 to 15 June 2011.
The finalised plan was adopted 23 June 2011 and it became operative from 1 July 2011 for the following 12 months.
How much will it cost me?
Go to the rates search page, type in your address and you can see your rates for 2011/12.
More about the main decisions
The following section summarises the major issues from throughout the plan, particularly the changes made to the draft in response to submissions.
The global economic situation remains substantially unchanged, and Council heard the very clear message that rate costs need to be reined in.
The work programme was reviewed to ensure the focus stays on efficiently delivering essential services, balanced with supporting economic development and community wellbeing.
Average rates and charges increase in 2011/12
The 2009 Nelson Community Plan originally forecast a 9.9% increase for 2011/12, effective from 1 July 2011. The draft Annual Plan proposed increase in average rates and charges was 2.5%. Following the key decisions described below, the budget in the Annual Plan shows an average increase of 3.48%, in rates and charges, excluding GST.
In the draft, released back in March 2011, the proposed increase in average residential rates and water ranged from 4.3% to 4.9% including GST , depending on land value. Following decisions on the submissions, the final increase will range from 4.2% to 10.3% including GST for residential properties depending on land value.
Of this increase, 0.63% is due to the change in the GST rate on 1 October 2010, and therefore is outside the control of Council. The major changes were due to a mix of reductions and increases in terms of their effect on the final rates and charges compared to the proposed budget.
The main changes affecting the increase
Compared to what Council had initially proposed, the most significant reductions were:
- Reduced interest cost of $1.1 million due to capital expenditure projects being deleted or postponed
- $530,000 rebate from the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit.
The most significant increases were:
- $803,000 increase in estimated insurance premiums
- $230,000 resulting from the decision to raise marina fees only by the Consumer Price Index
- $159,000 for a third 2011 Rugby World Cup game
- Conditional grant of $100,000 to the Nelson Historic Theatre Trust (Theatre Royal)
- Conditional grants of $70,000 for operating expenses and $20,000 for earthquake risk assessment to the School of Music
- $85,000 for an amalgamation referendum, if required.
Changes since the draft Annual Plan
At the time the draft Annual Plan was prepared, the outcome of the Local Government Commission investigation into the proposed union of Nelson City and Tasman District had not been announced.
On Thursday 16 June 2011, the Commission announced a proposed re-organisation scheme, with submissions invited by 19 August 2011.
Accordingly, Council has included provision of up to $85,000 for a referendum on any final proposal, should it proceed following the close of submissions.
In every other respect, the Annual Plan assumes the continuation of Nelson City as a separate Council for the 2011/12 year. Any changes after that would be included in the Nelson Long Term Plan 2012-22, which is to be released for consultation in early 2012.
Decisions following submissions on the draft Annual Plan
Rutherford Park proposals including Performing Arts Centre and Conference Centre
The draft Annual Plan included a comprehensive proposal for Rutherford Park, including a proposed performing arts centre and conference centre.
Following consideration of the submissions, including the majority that did not support the proposals, Council decided that the proposed performing arts and conference centres would not proceed at this time, mainly due to the cost.
Council responded to the call in submissions to direct funding towards preparing a strategy for the existing arts infrastructure and to identify any gaps, before proceeding with any new proposals.
Instead, $200,000 is included in this Annual Plan for detailed design work for the upgrade of the northern end of the Trafalgar Centre, $100,000 for the Maitai River walkway and $50,000 for landscaping work in Rutherford Park.
Council decided to allocate $100,000 for preparing a Rutherford/Trafalgar Parks Development Plan. The intention is to proceed with constructing the northern end of the Trafalgar Centre and that section of the Maitai River walkway at some time soon after 1 July 2012.
Funding for arts and heritage
Following many submissions that asked for a strategy for sustainable arts and cultural infrastructure, Council decided to increase its planning and investment in this sector.
Council recognises and supports Nelson City as the arts infrastructure hub for the wider region. It plans to review the activity management plan for Nelson’s arts and heritage infrastructure and services, which will include consideration of privately-owned facilities and will identify any possible gaps in that infrastructure.
Council also plans to prepare a comparative analysis of funding and staff support for leisure and recreation activities, which was a priority that was also identified by the Social Wellbeing Working Party. This analysis will be completed as part of the initial research for the development of the activity management plan. This work will be completed in 2011/12 so any resulting changes to service levels can be consulted on through the draft Nelson Long Term Plan 2012-22 process.
In addition, Council agreed to provide an additional $70,000 for Nelson School of Music (NSOM ) operating expenses, subject to completing due diligence checks. An additional $20,000 is provided towards an assessment of earthquake risk for the NSOM building. Council support for the School’s ongoing operational funding will be reviewed in the activity management plan process, described above.
Council decided to make provision of $100,000 towards operating expenses of the Theatre Royal, subject to carrying out due diligence checks and receiving a staff report on the subject. Council’s ongoing operational funding contribution will be reviewed through the activity management plan process. Council also allowed for principal repayments on the Trust’s loan to be deferred for 2011/12.
Council decided to make no change to funding for The Suter Art Gallery.
It confirmed the additional base funding of $67,000 for the Tasman Bay Heritage Trust, which manages the Provincial Museum. Council will not seek repayment of the Trust’s loan in 2011/12.
A range of other arts funding requests will also be considered during the development of the Arts and Heritage Activity Management Plan.
Council had proposed to increase marina fees by 15%, but after hearing the concerns of berth owners at the hearings, decided that marina fees would only increase by the Consumer Price Index in 2011/12.
Transport – buses and parking charges
Council confirmed that its initiative to improve public transport services, funded through adjusted inner city parking charges, will proceed as proposed. Council recognised that there is less demand for parking in the winter, and as an incentive for shoppers during this time, will trial allowing free parking on Tuesdays in winter.
Council plans to increase bus services between Nelson and Richmond up to approximately every 20 minutes during weekday peak times.
Council will also look at potential changes to the Council-funded ‘The Bus’ service around Nelson City to make it more suitable for commuters. The increased service is to help provide alternative transport options for commuters as fuel prices increase.
To pay for the improved service, metered off street car park charges will increase to the same level as on-street parks to provide funding of an estimated $550,000 a year. Charges for the Buxton, Ajax Ave (Millers Acre), Montgomery and Wakatu parking squares will increase to $1 per hour, coupled with more enforcement to ensure parking time limits are not exceeded. The time limit on Wakatu Square will reduce from all day to three hours to ensure commuter vehicles do not take up valuable central city space that needs to be prioritised for shorter stay parking. Once purchased, parking tickets will be transferable to other off street parking squares until expiry, subject to any time limit restrictions.
Commercial rating for multiple tenancy properties
A group of commercial property owners expressed concern at the impact a 2007 change to the Funding Impact Statement had on how rates are assessed for commercial properties with multiple tenancies. Council noted these concerns and decided to review the commercial rating policy through the draft Nelson Long Term Plan 2012-22 process. Because this review would involve updating its financial policies, Council can only do so through a full Long Term Plan consultation process. The soonest this can be done is in the draft Long Term Plan 2012-22.
Internet in Nelson Public Libraries
Council decided to continue with funding to allow mainly Government-funded internet access in Nelson Public Libraries.
Funding for artworks around the city will continue. Council decided not to provide the additional operational funding that was sought by the Nelson Sculpture Trust.
Sustainability Strategy and City Development Strategy
These two important strategic documents are to proceed although at a slower rate. They are described in more detail on pages 37-38 and on page 91 of the Annual Plan.
Council has changed the water supply bylaw and as a result there will be fewer water credits.
Resource consent fees and charges
The resource consent fees and charges have been confirmed as proposed.
You can also request a copy from the Council Customer Service Centre in Civic House or phone +64 546 0200.
Updated liability management and investment policies in 2009 Nelson Community Plan
These updated policies were confirmed by Council.
Audit New Zealand Statement
Matters relating to the City Council’s adopted amendment to the LTCCP subsequent to this report.
This report dated 2 June 2010 relates to the Long Term Council Community Plan (the LTCCP) for the 10 years commencing 1 July 2009, approved by the City Council on 25 June 2009 and subsequently amended on 2 June 2010. Subsequent to this, the City Council adopted an amendment to its LTCCP for the 10 years commencing 1 July 2009 to change its liability management policy and investment policy on 23 June 2011. The City Council has not prepared an amended LTCCP that incorporates the amendment adopted on 23 June 2011. Consequently, to form a view of the LTCCP of the City Council, the content of the LTCCP to which this report relates should be considered in conjunction with the City Council’s adopted amendment. There is no legislative requirement for us to report on the adopted amendment and we have not done so.
Requests totalling millions of dollars were received by Council. In the majority of cases, unless specifically stated that Council approved funding in response to a request, no change was made. Some projects were already planned to be funded and the majority of these will proceed.
Because of the need to keep any rates increase to a minimum, Council could not provide additional funding in every case. The Council noted that many of the requests could be considered as part of preparing the draft Nelson Long Term Plan 2012-22.