Wednesday 30 October 2013
Ashburton District Council's 2012/13 Annual Report shows the Council is on track to achieving the goals set out in its Long Term Plan and is in good shape financially.
Mayor Angus McKay says "We are achieving our goals, delivering quality infrastructure and services and performing well financially."
The Annual Report details council's performance over the past year. Council set out its projects, work programmes, budgets and performance measures in its Long Term Plan and the Annual Report shows whether those targets have been achieved.
"Council has continued to focus on providing quality core services that deliver value for money for our residents – activities such as water, sewerage, roads and footpaths, parks and gardens, refuse and recycling," said Mr McKay.
Highlights for the 2012/13 year include:
- Sealed road rehabilitation on Thomson Street
- 30KM of drainage improvements
- 12.1KM of road strengthening
- Upgrade of the Allenton Shopping Centre
- 4.7KM of resurfaced footpaths
- Ashburton and Methven water supplies upgrades completed
- Record levels of building activity
- Adoption of Hinds, Mayfield and Mt Somers Reserve Management Plans
- Development of the Mayfield Strategic Plan
- Adoption of the Ashburton Partly Operative District Plan
Two of Council's major projects, the EA Networks Centre and Ashburton Art Gallery and Heritage Centre are also progressing well.
"These are two cornerstone community facilities that will provide significant new opportunities for our community," said Mr McKay.
Planning for the Ashburton River second urban bridge continued in 2012/13.
"The bridge will be important for managing future traffic flows, and will also provide a second access across the Ashburton River," he said.
Community consultation on possible bridge and access road locations was carried out in August 2012 and Council has been working directly with landowners that may be affected.
"These projects demonstrate we are catering for a growing community and looking ahead to make sure we are planning for our future," he said.
Mr McKay says "The Annual Report shows that the Council continues to be in a strong financial position with $42.4 million spent compared to $52.5 million earned in the last financial year," he said.
The Report shows Council-owned assets are valued at $617 million.
Council manages one of New Zealand's largest roading networks and transportation was again Council's largest budget and work area in the past year.
"On top of the general maintenance and day-to-day tasks involved in managing such a large network, we also need to cater for a growing district and increasing demands of heavy transport by upgrading the structure and surface of our roads," said Mr McKay.
"Reducing levels of NZTA subsidy assistance makes this increasingly difficult. Council has continued to lobby NZTA for increases in funding that recognise the size of our roading network in relation to our population and the contribution of our district's export-focused industries to the national economy," said Mr McKay.
Mr McKay says Council has worked hard to improve communication with the community over the past year and it shows in the number of projects they have engaged with residents.
In the last year, Council sought residents' views on:
- Ashburton River second urban bridge
- Allenton Shopping Centre upgrade
- Speed limit review
- Stockwater race review
- Ashburton Cemetery extension
- Mt Somers Reserve Management Plan
- Mayfield Reserve Management Plan
- Annual Plan 2013/14
- Mayfield Strategic Plan
- Hinds Reserve Management Plan
"Communicating effectively with our community is important to ensure we have informed residents that can participate in local democracy," said Mr McKay.
"Your views are an important part of the decision making process and communication will continue to be a strong focus going forward," he said.
Mr McKay says "A large amount of work was put in by staff to deliver this Report and I would like to thank them for their effort."
Read the 2012/13 Annual Report