WCC Annual Plan (2016/2017)

Below are speaking notes to the submission I made to Council on 24 February 2016

“Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback and in a timely fashion so that it may be considered before finalising the Annual Plan for 2016/17

The Annual Plan was presented online for feedback. It looked very professional, lots of special web effects, cool graphics. When I peeled back the layers, what I found was;

  • There is a lot of information to go through –too much and; not integrated and joined up for communities to get a sense of what is planned for their community
  • Information about significant projects (such as Medium Density Housing in areas of Newlands, Island Bay and Khandallah) was not easily found and in fact one could say was conveniently ‘hidden’ under other subject matter  – Strengthening our Town Centres (Tawa and Karori)
  • Information was not current- relating to 15/16 not 16/17
  • Projects (which are a big part of discretionary spend) There was no simple integrated list of key projects city wide
  • There were no clear performance indicators both past and present. If you don’t effectively measure and monitor, how do you drive organisational effectiveness, know where to improve,  what to stop, what to continue, what else is required?

Let’s be clear, this is for an annual budget covering over half a billion of our dollars impacting over 200,000 people. So having an effective annual planning process is critical. Most of this money goes on operational services so there is not much wriggle room.  But you do have more discretionary spend in the Projects area. Yet you don’t really know how well projects are progressing, are there too many, in the right areas or the right ones for what you want achieved over the year. If you do know, it would be good to have that information collated and shared with the public.

So I put it to you how effective do you think the public feedback process really is and how effective is the information provided to you by Council Officers to enable you to make the right and informed decisions for Wellington? Or is this just rubber stamping with an extra park bench thrown in here and there? Has the Council really got the resources (capability and capacity) to deliver what you approve? Is it being held accountable for timeliness and quality of output?

As a ratepayer, I want the Mayor and Councillors to lead this capital as well as any proficient Board of a large enterprise. That includes setting robust strategy, applying good governance, demonstrating strong fiscal management and holding the Chief Executive and senior management to account for delivery. There is room for improvement.”

Diane Calvert

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