Our financial situation is very good and for 2016/17 we're keeping the average rates increase to 1.4%, which is lower than the 2.61% we projected in last year's LTP. Our financial reserves are in a healthy state and we're narrowing the gap between forecast capital expenditure and actual spending. We have put in place robust project management programmes to further reduce the gap. The graph below illustrates where we've come with our rates since the 2009/10 financial year. The 2009-19 Long Term Plan indicated our average rates for 2016/17 would be 35% higher than they were in 2009/10. Instead, through efficiencies and constantly keeping an eye on the bottom line, the increase in rates over this time has been held to 5% - that's lower than the rate of inflation, which has increased 9.6% since 2009/10. Click on the graph to see a larger version. What's the 2016/17 Annual Plan? The 2016/17 Annual Plan refines the budget described in year two of the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan and produces an annual budget for the 2016/17 year. Every three years Council develops a Long Term Plan which has detailed budgets for the following three years as well as a longer term view out to ten years. Council last developed a Long Term Plan in 2015. In the two years between each Long Term Plan we develop an Annual Plan to provide better planning and financial information for those years. Recent changes to the legislation which governs these documents has meant a change to the way we consult with the community for these Annual Plans. This is the first Annual Plan developed under these rules, so it will look different to our past annual plans. Historically we have called for formal submissions on the Annual Plan development, but we are now able to be more flexible with consultation. If a formal submission process is to be run, it must focus on just the significant or material changes. If there are no significant or material changes proposed to the budgets as they were described in the Long Term Plan, running a formal submission process is not required. The terms significant and material are defined by legislation and we have tested the changes we've made in the 2016/17 year against this definition. There was not any significant or material changes identified in the budgets and work programme for the 2016/17 financial year, so Council did not seek formal submissions for the 2016/17 Annual Plan. We instead used the changes to legislation to interact more meaningfully with the community on the work programme for the coming year. Our Community Boards hosted information sessions to let people know each area's upcoming work programme along with any major district wide projects in the area. You can read our 2016/17 Annual Plan online here, or view a hard copy at our Council offices. What's changed? We did not make any significant or material changes from the 2015-2025 Long Term Plan, however for your interest below is a summary of the notable changes from what we said we'd do in the 2015-25 Long Term Plan budgets and what we now plan to do for the 2016/17 year, presented by groups of activities. Groups of activities are how we arrange our services for the purposes of our planning instruments like the Long Term Plan and Annual Plan. More information on these changes are on pages 4 - 8 of the 2016/17 Annual Plan document. Roads and Footpaths Hauraki Rail Trail - stage two: CARRIED OVER Road legalisation: INCREASED Storm events: INCREASED Major drainage control and district-wide pavement treatment: TRANSFERRED Stormwater Kopu land purchase: CARRIED OVER Wastewater Matarangi wastewater consent: BROUGHT FORWARD Whangamata forest harvest: NEW Sludge handling: INCREASE Coromandel treatment plant upgrade: CARRIED OVER Water Supply District renewals: INCREASED Hahei consent renewal - groundwater: REMOVED Whitianga consent renewal - Whangamaroro: REMOVED Tairua river bank filtration (Tairua riverbed filtration): CARRIED OVER AND INCREASED Solid Waste Whitianga transfer station and weighbridge infrastructure: DEFERRED Health and safety: NEW Protection of People and the Environment Macrocarpa Reserve erosion: NEW Cooks Beach protection: CARRIED OVER Disaster reserve INCREASED Community Spaces and Development Thames Thames Civic Centre improvements: installation of a hearing loop and bar code reader: NEW Thames monument works: NEW Porritt Park playground improvements: NEW Queen Street pedestrian access improvements: NEW Danby Field carpark northern exit: NEW Thames skate park: CARRIED OVER Thames indoor sports facility: CARRIED OVER Coromandel-Colville Oamaru boat ramp renewals: NEW Coromandel charter fishing customer 'park and ride' car park - Te Kouma: NEW Fureys Creek dredging: REMOVED Mercury Bay Whitianga medical centre: INCREASED Mercury Bay - Whitianga (previously destination) boat ramps: CARRIED OVER Hahei park and ride development: CARRIED OVER Mercury Bay museum roof replacement and condition assessment: NEW Whangapoua public toilet effluent disposal: NEW Mercury Bay cemetery stage two: CARRIED OVER Ferry Landing historic wharf: INCREASE Whangamata Williamson Park redevelopment: CARRIED OVER AND INCREASED Whangamata Beach Road playground upgrade: BOUGHT FORWARD Onemana toilet upgrade DEFERRED Whangamata harbour walkway/cycleway: DEFERRED Curb, channel and swale: CARRIED OVER Tairua - PauanuiMary Beach wharf: INCREASED AND CARRIED OVER Economic Development Coromandel harbour and Sugarloaf development: DECREASE IN FUNDING Kupe/Cook celebrations: BROUGHT FORWARD Great Walks: CARRIED OVER AND INCREASED Lees Road: CARRIED OVER 2016/17 Fees and Charges We have reviewed our fees and charges from the 2015/16 year and have made some changes for the 2016/17 year. As well as reviewing all our fees and charges, we also had special requirements under legislation to undertake a consultation process for new fees under the Food Act 2014, and on changes made to some of our administrative fees which were set under the Resource Management Act 1991. These consultations were completed in the 2015/16 year and the results of these processes are reflected in the fees and charges for the 2016/17 year. Although the preparation of an Annual Plan is the main mechanism we use to review our fees and charges, Council may from time to time change fees and charges by resolution in a meeting throughout the year. We are guided by our Revenue and Financing Policy when making these decisions and this can be viewed at www.tcdc.govt.nz/ltp. The full list of our fees and charges including changes in the 2016/17 year compared to 2015/16 can be found here The 2016/17 schedule of fees and charges contains the new fees taking effect from 1 July 2016 and how they compare to the 2015/16 year. This document will be updated if any changes are made throughout the year.