The Council papers for the 15 February 2018 meeting are available online . At this meeting, Council will adopt the Consultation Document for public consultation on the Long-Term Plan 2018-28.
The Consultation Document isn’t a summary of the Long-Term Plan. It outlines new activity, changes in emphasis and specific topics for feedback. For the Long-Term Plan 2018-28 attention is drawn to, for example:
- Our strategic priorities of Freshwater Management and Indigenous Biodiversity
- Increased activity around collaboration with other agencies to bring about a step-change in effort in the regeneration of indigenous biodiversity
- Continued focus on the implementation of the plans and rules for freshwater management
- The need for change in the public transport area to address financial issues as well as future demands – with three options presented for feedback
- Geater focuses on climate change through the introduction of a Climate Change Integration programme making our information and activity more accessible within and outside the organisation.
Chairman Steve Lowndes says, “The next few years are all about action and visibility: delivery of work programmes, implementation of rules, measuring results and taking further action accordingly. Plans are in place across our work portfolios; for freshwater management, biodiversity, pest control, air quality, navigation safety, hazards, flood control, parks, Civil Defence and so on. A great deal of work has taken place with the community to agree on these plans and to develop robust ways to implement them, and good progress has been made in many areas. The focus in this Long-Term Plan is action on the ground, helping the community to make the changes needed to get us the outcomes we want in Canterbury.
“One of the areas we do still need to look for innovative solutions is public transport. In the Consultation Document we are asking for feedback on possible options to address the financial shortfall we have in the public transport space. There are a number of factors that impact the overall sustainability of the network, one of which is ‘under-performing’ routes. On some of the lowest performing routes ratepayers are subsidising each passenger trip by up to $20. We need to look at how we are providing the service in these areas. The public transport service is an essential part of our community and we need to ensure we can operate it in a financially sustainable way, to provide the best possible service today as well as enabling us to be open to new thinking and innovation that will play a part in public transport over the next ten years.
“Although the Joint Committee oversees the public transport services for the region, the financial responsibility for the bus routes remains with Environment Canterbury and must, therefore, be addressed via our Long-Term Plan. We want to hear from the community regarding the options we have proposed and whether there are other ideas out there that can be implemented. Some people will be impacted regardless of which option we take so we need to be confident that on balance we have chosen the right one to support a sustainable service over the next three years.
“Council has taken many months developing this Long-Term Plan but ultimately it is the community’s plan for the areas of activity that they entrust us to undertake – and now is the time to have a say on whether this plan will deliver the outcomes Cantabrians want.”
Consultation opens on 26 February and closes on 26 March 2018 with the final plan being adopted by Council on 21 June 2018.