Every 10 years Council lays out a Long-Term Plan (LTP) that sets the strategic direction over the next 10 years.
Annual plans are usually produced in the years between the LTPs, giving us an opportunity to review and revise rates, budgets, projects and goals from those originally proposed in the LTP.
Annual Plan 2019-20
We’re on track.
In February 2019, the Council agreed not to undertake formal consultation on the 2019-20 Annual Plan. A number of elements fed into the decision, which are mostly summed up by the fact that we’re on track with what we planned in 2018.
Last year we went through an in-depth process to plan our work and spending for the next ten years. We listened carefully as we formulated this Long-Term Plan, including receiving 339 submissions and hearing from 66 members of our community at formal hearings. We set a limit for the rates to increase by no more than 5 per cent in FY 2019-20.
We’re pleased to say our budgeting is on-track for the rates increase to be within that limit. The rates increase is helping to pay for planned projects including:
- Increased budget to deliver our well-being strategy
- Installation of smart water meters
- Town Centre Revamp project
- Rolling out wheelie bins.
This year, we will instead be focusing our efforts on progressing key projects and asking your thoughts through our consultations about specific issues important to our community.
We’re making progress.
Check out the progress report on our big-ticket projects so far in this financial year.
We’re excited for what’s coming
There are great things planned for the 2019-20 financial year, all of which are set out in our Long-Term Plan. This includes:
- Our Town Centre Revamp taking shape
- More detail about what a civic centre may look like for Masterton
- Installing smart water meters
- Increasing recycling capability in Masterton with the wheelie bin service starting in urban Masterton
We’re here for you.
Engaging with our community happens all-year-round, not just when it comes to the Annual Plan process.
Currently, we’re seeking feedback on proposed changes to the Wairarapa Class 4 Gambling and Standalone TAB Venues Policy. Submissions open 15 April. Keep an eye on our current consultations page for more info.
Don’t forget, you can let us know about something that needs fixing via our Fix It Form you can also make a complaint, or give us a compliment. Feedback is always welcome by calling us on 06 370 6300.
How does the Council's planning process work?
Every three years – part way through each election term – the city is required to develop and adopt a long-term plan. In the years between long-term plans, annual plans are produced that outline any changes to the budget.
At the end of each year, an annual report and summary annual report let the community know about what’s been achieved and how we have performed, as well as anything that hasn’t quite gone to plan or anything unexpected that’s come up.
What is an Annual Plan?
Annual plans are produced for the years between long-term plans. Annual plans give us the opportunity to refresh information and budgets for the coming year, and include the setting of rates.
Why can Councils choose not to consult on annual plans?
A series of amendments were made to the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) in 2014 to encourage new ways of consulting and communicating with the community.
One of these amendments removed the requirement for councils to formally consult “if there are no significant or material differences to the content of the long-term plan”. This now makes formal consultation on proposed annual plans exceptions based.
An annual plan that includes an overview of any minor changes in costs (along with all other information required under Part 2 of Schedule 10 of the Act) must still be prepared and adopted by council resolution before 30 June.
How do we determine what's significant?
Section 5 of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act) describes “significance” as the degree of importance of any issue, proposal, decision, or matter, as assessed by the local authority, in terms of its likely impact on, and consequences for:
- the city (district) or region
- anyone likely to be particularly affected or interested
- the capacity of the local authority to perform its role, and the financial and other costs of doing so.
Section 5 also describes “significant” as any issue, proposal, decision, or other matter having a “high degree of significance, that is:
- significant or material variations/departures from the financial statements or funding impact statement in the long-term plan
- significant new spending proposals, and the associated costs, or
- substantial delays to, or cancellation of, significant projects, and associated implications.
The Council is required to have a significance and engagement policy under Section 76AA of the Local Government Act 2002. The Policy is reviewed every three years as part of long-term plans.
Significance is more than a financial impact, and often items with low value but that have high public interest can be significant.
Significance is ultimately determined by the elected members – here’s a link to Masterton District’s Significance and Engagement Policy (PDF, 637KB).
What's the difference between formal consultation and engagement?
Consultation involves receiving public feedback on proposals and is one form of engagement. The Council regularly consults communities through processes such as the long-term plan, which determine Council’s strategic direction, as well as how it sets budgets and prioritises projects.
The Council will consult with the community about significant decisions following the principles set out in Section 82 of the Act. The Council can also decide to consult at any time on a decision, where it considers that appropriate. For most Council decisions, there is no express requirement to consult the public, but we will consider people’s views and preferences.
Engagement is a broader and ongoing process of sharing information with the community and seeking its feedback, with the purpose of involving the community in the process of decision making. This may or may not include a more formal consultation process.
What if I have feedback for Council?
We are happy to receive feedback at any time throughout the year, not just at annual plan time.
Please get in touch if you want to share your ideas, have some positive feedback about our staff, or have something you are not so happy about via our complaint, compliment or fix it forms or by calling 06 370 6300.
I was planning to apply for funding through the 2019-20 Annual Plan. What do I do now?
The annual plan process is often used for funding requests. This year we have reviewed our grants funding process and will be inviting community groups to apply for Community Well-being Grants and Events Grants in two separate processes over the coming months.
What are other councils doing?
Since the amendment was made in 2014, more than 20 councils have had only minor changes to forecasts and have therefore elected not to formally consult.
For 2019-20, a number of councils in the Wellington region are choosing to take this approach. Hutt City, Greater Wellington, Kāpiti Coast, and Porirua in particular have indicated this.
How does it relate to my rates bill?
Each year, the rates get set in the annual plan. The average rate increase for 2019-20 was set as part of the 2018–28 Long-Term Plan.
How much can I expect to pay in general rates in 2019-20?
In last year’s Long-Term Plan we set ourselves a limit of a rate increase no more than 5 per cent. This was agreed as part of the Long-Term Plan 2018–28 that was approved in June 2018.
What is a Long-Term Plan?
The Long-Term Plan (LTP) is the capital and operational expenditure the Council intends to undertake over the next 20 years, and the impacts on the community.
The LTP describes these impacts in financial and non-financial terms, through financial statements and the resulting changes to rates and debt. The non-financial terms are mainly the performance measures relating to the levels of service.
It’s important to remember that the LTP is only a forecast and the actual results may be different, particularly after year 4, as there is a new LTP developed every three years.
What is required when amending a Long-Term Plan?
The amendment process would depend on the complexity of the amendment, but any amendment must go through a formal public consultation and submission process where the proposal is considered by the community for no less than one calendar month. Any amendment must be externally audited.
What other consultations are underway that I can have my say on?
There are a number of consultations that are either underway or that we will be consulting on over the next six months. Check out the Current Consultations section of our website for more information.
How else can I give feedback throughout the year?
Engaging with our community happens all-year-round, not just when it comes time to the Annual Plan process.
Currently, we’re seeking feedback on proposed changes to the Wairarapa Class 4 Gambling and Standalone TAB Venues Policy.
You are also welcome to drop in to our office at 161 Queen Street between 8.00 am and 4.30 pm and give your feedback to any of our friendly customer service executives.