Adopted for exhibition at its meeting last night, Hornsby Shire Council’s Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) establishes its framework for sound financial decisions for the next ten years and demonstrates Council’s ongoing responsible approach to financial management.
The Plan has been prepared to adequately address a range of challenging circumstances while continuing to deliver on community priorities. It recommends actions to ensure Council continues to deliver balanced budgets and continuous financial improvement, while ensuring we meet local government financial benchmarks.
As Hornsby Shire Council looks to the future, internal and external factors have emerged, putting financial pressure on the organisation. These include a historically low rate increase of 0.7 per cent set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). This is inconsistent with the standard yearly increases of around 2.28 per cent and is not proportionate with the rising costs of Council expenditure. Other factors include increased levies and the rising costs of asset maintenance.
If not addressed, current forecasts indicate deficits which are likely to increase over the life of the Plan. Through careful financial planning, the Plan presents actions for Council and the community to consider in establishing a sound financial position while maintaining assets and providing current levels of service for years to come.
These actions include continuing tight controls on costs, the application for a more standard rate increase of 2.28 per cent for 2022/23 following our review of IPART’s decision to restrict rate increases to 0.7 per cent, the careful scheduling of major works to minimise risk and cost increases and developing additional sources of revenue.
To address long term financial pressures and to deliver on a number of unfunded community priorities, the LTFP suggests that careful consideration should be given (subject to extensive community consultation) to further rate increases in future years.
Mayor Philip Ruddock said, “The community can be confident that it is in safe hands. We are committed to ensuring our future is financially sound while maintaining the exceptional level of service that our residents expect.”
“As an open and transparent council, we must acknowledge that the Long Term Financial Plan indicates that the rising costs we are all experiencing do not balance with our income. However, as a responsible council, I am proud that we are taking action now to redress this imbalance to ensure our Shire thrives into the future.”
The Plan reaffirms Council’s commitment to delivering important community projects such as the revitalisation of the Hornsby Quarry, public domain improvements for Asquith to Mount Colah, improvements to the Wallarobba Arts and Cultural Centre and a Heritage Planning study.
The Long Term Financial Plan will be on public exhibition for community feedback until Thursday, 9 June 2022.
Following community consultation, Council also endorsed last night the Byles Creek Planning Study for implementation. The study was prepared to assess the suitability of current planning controls to minimise the impact of residential development of the Byles Creek corridor and provide planning recommendations to better protect its unique environmental, social and aesthetic qualities. Council received 168 submissions which were generally supportive of the draft study and its recommendations.
Other items of note at last night’s meeting included:
- Council received and noted a Review of Policies and Codes
- Council endorsed a proposal to realign the suburb boundary between Middle Dural and Glenorie
- Council received and noted the Workforce Plan and Asset Management Strategy
- Council endorsed the Hornsby Shire Council On-Site Sewage Management System Policy for exhibition.
The full agenda of the meeting, along with details of each item discussed, can be found at hornsby.nsw.gov.au. The video recording of the meeting will be available from tomorrow afternoon.