Supporting Marlborough through COVID-19

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Supporting Marlborough through COVID-19

April 2020

Marlborough District Council is committed to supporting our community through the COVID-19 crisis. It’s business as usual for most Council departments, with staff able to work from home to carry out their roles. However, in addition to the ‘business as usual’, the Council is also supporting the Marlborough region in a number of different ways.

Community Development and Support Services

  • Extra funding of $1.2m has been allocated from the Emergency Events Reserve to assist community organisations and facilities, including a $200,000 increase to the Community Grants Fund
  • We are maintaining bus services on a reduced timetable - all essential travel is free including off-peak services in Blenheim, Picton and Renwick
  • Total Mobility travel is fare-free up to the regional maximum fare cap of $30
  • Weekly updates of COVID-19 information is sent to Marlborough’s networks of community organisations – community workers, youth workers, Positive Ageing, Violence Intervention, Safe & Sound at the Top, Sport Tasman, and the arts and heritage sectors
  • We are working with NMDHB on older people-specific information and issues and promoting relevant information for youth
  • The Smart+Connected community groups are working with their communities on a local response to welfare, communication and coordination, with other groups
  • We have extended consultation periods for various policies.

Welfare Support

  • Council’s Civil Defence and Emergency Welfare Team are supporting those who need assistance with emergency accommodation, groceries and supplies
  • A number of staff have volunteered to help the Welfare Support programme.

Economic Development and Business Support

  • An economic recovery group has been set up in partnership with Marlborough’s key industries, called ‘TEAM’ – The Economic Action Marlborough Group
  • We are advancing Council’s major infrastructure projects to keep cash flowing through wages and materials, to maintain jobs here in Marlborough and to stimulate the economy
  • Council has identified ‘shovel ready’ projects to the Government, which total over $300M in value
  • We are working with regional councils and government agencies on a large programme of labour intensive environmental improvement projects; we’re also discussing water storage opportunities with government agencies
  • Working alongside the Government’s business support programme across the Top of the South
  • There are weekly meetings with industry leaders, Public Health, Stuart Smith MP and other key groups and organisations to plan Marlborough’s response and recovery
  • Working alongside key Government agencies such as MBIE, MSD, NEMA and MPI
  • Supporting the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce and Business Trust Marlborough
  • Council’s Economic Portfolio Manager is seconded to assist the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce in its outreach work.

Resource and Building Consents

  • Council has continued to process resource and building consent applications
  • For resource consent hearings, our Hearings Facilitator is working closely with parties to facilitate online hearings or extensions to due dates and hearing dates to ensure a fair process and as little delay as possible in determining consent applications
  • Building inspections will re-start at Alert Level 3.

Finance

  • This year’s rates increase will be the lowest in memory at 2.2% or less (the Annual Plan submission process is underway for people to feedback on this)
  • Rent and licence fee reductions for commercial tenants
  • Creditors paid weekly to help them with their cash flow.