Local Government Planning Cycle
All Councils are required to prepare an LTP and an Annual Plan under the Local Government Act 2002. An LTP is prepared and consulted on every three years. An Annual Plan is prepared in each of the intervening years The LTP document also contains the annual plan for the first of the ten years it covers. The Annual Report for each year closes the planning loop by reporting back against the appropriate year in the Long Term Plan.
The LTP sets out the Council’s financial and infrastructure strategies for the next 10 years and contains information on the actions the Council plans to take to achieve these, information about the levels of service the community can expect from Council activities and how performance will be measured, the projects that the Council plans to undertake over the next 10 years, and financial information including draft budgets, funding sources and changes to rates. An LTP is a public accountability document and provides a basis for the community to assess their Council's performance.
The current LTP was adopted by the Dunedin City Council on 29 June 2015 and covers the 10 years from 2015/16 – 2024/25.
Things have changed – new legislative requirements for Annual Planning
The Local Government Act 2002 was amended in 2014 bringing about changes to the nature of the Annual Plan. The Annual Plan is now an exceptions–only document focused on changes from the budgets and content for the year concerned as forecast and shown in the current LTP.
The consultation requirements have changed and require local authorities to focus their consultation only on significant or material changes from the LTP. The concepts of Significance and Materiality are described later in this section. If there are no significant or material changes from the LTP, the Council is not required to consult.
A draft annual plan document and summary document are not required any more. If consultation is undertaken a Consultation Document (CD) is prepared and must be solely focused on significant or material changes from the year concerned in the LTP.
There is no longer any requirement for local authorities to use the special consultative procedure, which involves a formal submission and hearing process, when consulting on an Annual Plan. Any consultation that is undertaken has to give effect to the principles of consultation stated in s.82 of the Local Government Act 2002.
Structure of the 2017/18 Annual Plan
This document focuses on the changes from the 2017/18 year (Year 3) in the LTP made in the course of revising, confirming and approving budgets for the 2017/18 Annual Plan.
It includes an outline of community engagement on the 2017/18 draft budgets and decision–making (Section 1), updates to financial statements and assumptions (Section 2), updates to the Funding Impact Statement (Section 3) and updates to fees and charges and Council grant pools (Section 4), all of which arise from budget changes.
Dunedin City Council Annual Plan Planning Process
Budgets for the next year are reviewed between September and November each year. These budgets, along with reports on issues and initiatives that may affect budgets, are presented to Councillors in January. The decisions made by Councillors at the January Annual Plan Council meeting determine the draft budgets for Annual Plan and identify the changes from the Long Term Plan. Significant or material changes will be consulted on with the community.
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