Marlborough District Council has adopted the Consultation Document relating to its 2018-28 Long Term Plan, ‘Investing in Marlborough’.
Mayor John Leggett says the Plan seeks to address three key priorities for Marlborough - looking after the environment, investing in economic development, and building and maintaining infrastructure.
“The Consultation Document summarises our planned projects and expenditure and how we plan to pay for them. I encourage people to have a look and give us their feedback.
“Council’s mission is to invest in Marlborough’s future, our people, our quality lifestyle and our wonderful natural environment. And ensure every dollar we spend delivers a service or creates a benefit for ratepayers and residents.
“Marlborough is a great place to live, work and visit. We are a region with great facilities and attractions, but we also have our fair share of challenges.
“We’re concentrating on core services and using our reserve funds wherever possible, so there’s little scope for non-essentials. Essential services are driving increases in capital spending on roading, water and sewerage networks, community facilities and flood protection. The Council also has to be prepared to meet new Government-imposed national standards for the environment and public health.
“This Plan also proposes more resources for environmental science to enable Council to deliver better environmental management and monitoring. We had a clear message from the public that more emphasis is needed on protecting biodiversity and with a new Marlborough Environment Plan on the way we need to be able to fulfil its aspirations for managing our natural and physical resources well.
“We’re proposing to spend 40% of our capital expenditure budget on water and sewerage services over the next 10 years.”
Provision of future funding for the Marlborough Kaikoura coastal cycling and walking trail and for a new Blenheim library and art gallery are included in this Plan. The cycle trail investment will attract significant visitor numbers and create opportunities for South Marlborough to generate new business post-earthquake. The new library/gallery will not only help invigorate the lower High Street river area and attract more visitors, but will also enable our library to offer better service to its many users, as has been seen with the new Picton Library - Waitohi Whare Matauranga.
“We need to ensure Marlborough stays ahead of the curve and is ready for the future. That means rates’ increases to fund our Investing in Marlborough programme could be a bit higher than in previous years. I also want to make our rating system fairer, so that everyone pays their fair share.”
The draft budget projects average annual rate increases of between 2.30% and 5.33% over the next ten years (excluding the impact of the Flaxbourne Irrigation Scheme, which falls only on users of the scheme), with an increase in total rates for the 2018-19 year at 4.81%.
“These are not final figures as each year Council reviews its priorities before setting rates. In previous years this has resulted in rates increases lower than that forecast in the Long Term Plan. We’re at the start of what I hope will be a robust public consultation process – and I encourage residents and ratepayers to tell us what they think, before we firm up our plan.”
Submissions are invited from the public - the deadline for your submission is 5.00 pm on Monday 14 May. I look forward to receiving your feedback, which I encourage you to submit online.
Alternatively, a hard copy of the submission form can be printed from our website, or collected from Council’s Blenheim or Picton offices, or Marlborough District Libraries.
The submission form includes questions related to each of the topics discussed in this Consultation Document.