Record number of submissions to annual planSave
By Simon Waters
Whanganui ratepayers made their voices heard in record numbers at this year's district council annual plan hearings.
More than 260 submissions were received on a variety of issues, with oral submissions being heard over Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
"We had some pretty passionate and articulate submissions," Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall said.
He said it was the city's biggest response to an annual plan. "It's a record, so yes, I am happy to have so many people contributing. It's always good to have a variety of people's perceptions of council and how its doing."
He said the response showed the level of engagement that Whanganui people have with council.
"So many people felt the need or desire to come and talk to us and were not initimated, and that's great."
Council staff will now follow-up on submissions and provide councillors with any further information that is required ahead of deliberations on May 30.
A morning workshop will be held behind closed doors, while final deliberations will be held in public starting at 1pm.
"We have four or five main issues. I aim to have deliberations finished in one day if possible."
The final annual plan will be adopted by council in June.
The annual plan determines the income required by the city from rates and the projects that money will be spent on.
The draft annual plan proposes a rating increase of 1.9 per cent.