Thursday, October 23, 2008

Balancing the books

Unbelievable. A headline in today's DomPost says that the Wellington City Council is looking at ways of shaving around $50 million from their spending. This is fair enough, what with Dunedin City Council facing lending shortages, it is prudent to look at where pennies can be pinched.

The aim is to cut between 3 per cent and 5 per cent a year from council's operating expenditure. Saving $3.5 million a year over the next decade will save the council $52 million after compound interest is calculated.

Kerry Prendergast sez, "But it is not a fiddle around the edges. Staff have been told to go back and look at everything, and just because you think it is a sacred cow, it isn't."
Ms Prendergast said she "was determined to keep rates increases to the level of inflation" but did not want to see the indoor sports centre or upgrade of council flats affected. "They would both contribute to the health and wellbeing of Wellingtonians, so I would put those as a higher priority than the others."
I can understand the reluctance to cut back on the council flat upgrade, seeing as WCC funding is part of the deal to secure even greater central government funding for the project too. However, the Cobham Park project fits into the $50 million ballpark comfortably. Don't think of the park project as a sacred cow. It is a white elephant that is threatening the local environment. It needs to be put down.