Clarence Valley Council (CVC) has chosen to not answer this newspaper’s questions regarding how it would make cuts to the 24 “discretionary” services that councillors identified at the May extraordinary council meeting.
Councillors adopted the draft budgetary and operational documents for the 2015/16 financial year at the meeting.
Councillors decided that they would consider the elimination of the services identified in the council’s documentation recently distributed to ratepayers – for the purpose of cuts needed to comply with the NSW Government’s Fit for the Future initiative and to support the council’s proposed special rate variation application.
The Independent emailed several questions to the council at 11.49am on Thursday August 27 – asking what the Independent regarded as ‘operational’ questions – related to any decision councillors might make regarding how the cuts would be implemented.
However, the council’s communications coordinator advised the Independent on Monday morning that decisions related to the questions would be made by councillors.
Questions to CVC
What kinds of actions could be expected regarding cutting or curtailing of the 24 services that are itemised?
Can CVC indicate how cuts or adjustments could be made to the nominated services should councillors resolve to do so following the consultation period?
Which of these services are funded or partially funded by state and federal governments?
Can you provide a breakdown, percentage-wise, regarding state or federal funding for the affected services?
Can you provide the most recently audited figures cost-wise for each of the services?
The Independent notified the council in the email that it had “started to have a look at figures in the 2013/14 audit report, however, I need to confirm I am on the right track and need some guidance so as to not misinterpret the numbers.
“Perhaps the answers to some of the above questions have already been quantified by financial staff, which would prevent that kind of error [by the CV Independent] occurring …”
For detailed information on what the proposed changes to the valley’s services and rates entail, go to http://clarenceconversations.com.au/roadstosustainability.
Clarence Valley residents have until Friday September 25 to fill out an online or hard copy survey.
Councillors will make their decisions at the October council meeting.