Cr Les Larke has reported a very alarming financial situation of Council (Sentinel-Times, December 10, Letters, ‘It’s just not sustainable’).
Council’s Adjusted Underlying Surplus (or deficit) as a percentage of underlying revenue for Bass Coast is negative 12.34%.
The Council’s annual report 2018/19 page 9 provides the actual financial Underlying figure of $9.55 million (a loss) with a note: “A key measure of the financial sustainability is the trend in the Underlying Result. This indicates whether we are generating sufficient revenue to cover operating expenses, including assets replacement.”
The annual report 2018/19 for Rates & Charges Income result was $58.582 million, an increase of $3.197 million. So why has the Victorian Auditor General reported concern?
The answer might be Council is spending well beyond the needs, our needs.
Total Expenditure of Council 2018/19 increased from $74.083 million to $86.934 million, an increase of $12.851 million. The current 2019/20 budget paper indicates a very slight turn around by June 30, 2020, for the Underlying financial result.
So what is Council going to do in the lead up to the next budget for year 2020/21 which is being formulated right now?
Do you the ratepayer want the big spending to continue that will undoubtedly leave major financial problems for the next elected Councillor group (next election due October 2020) or, would ratepayers like me prefer restraint and in doing so have low cost multiple capital expenditure items set into the new budget (draft budget due around April/May 2020).
Right now is your opportunity to have your say.
Do you want Council to borrow $15 million and add $4 million from its reserves finances for a completely new Cowes Culture Centre or would a new Cowes Aquatic Centre which is long overdue be preferred?
What small low cost things in your neighbourhood would you prefer Council to add into the next new budget?
As a ratepayer I would prefer a more focused reduction in expenditure. Thank you, Cr Les Larke, for doing your elected job in reporting more into Council’s financial alarming situation. Keep speaking up. You are right.
It’s disappointing the majority of the other Councillors did not attend the financial training made available when first elected. Let’s hope things improve quickly before a big financial burden is imposed upon the next newly elected Councillors or before a Commissioner is called into the running of Council under new rules of the Local Government Act.
It’s time to have your say.
What do you get for your rates payment? What will you get in the future?
Graham Jolly, Cape Woolamai.