Community and market forces underpin a stronger strategic direction for Singleton Council

19/06/22

Community feedback, a response to market conditions and a greater investment in planning resources have been incorporated into the suite of documents that will guide Singleton Council’s strategic direction for 2022/2023 and beyond.

The Create Singleton 2032 Community Strategic Plan 2032 (CSP) headlines the list of documents that also includes the Long-Term Financial Plan, the four-year Delivery Program and 2022/2023 Operational Plan (including the budget) that will be presented to Tuesday’s ordinary meeting of Council for adoption.

Following an extensive engagement program that resulted in more than 2,000 individual contributions from the community to develop the CSP, the documents were exhibited for 28 days from 21 April until 18 May 2022 resulting in 10 community submissions.

The proposed 2022/2023 budget and Long-Term Financial Plan also incorporates changes to the draft document in response to market conditions, delays in delivery of the current year’s capital works program, new opportunities and external contributions that have flow on impacts to Council’s projected financial position.

The key changes reflect the Australian Government’s decision to bring forward 75 per cent of the Financial Assistance Grant that Council is entitled to, additional income from investments due to changing market conditions, increased costs from the NSW Government’s Emergency Services Levy and an investment in additional resources in Council’s Development and Environment team.

General Manager Jason Linnane said the proposed budget now included an increase of 1.4 per cent in expenditure to cover these resources and State-imposed costs, and a 0.09 per cent increase in income representing a meagre proportion of Council’s total $99.2 million budget for 2022/2023.

“It’s important to note that there are no reductions in service levels to the community, no changes to projects, and no changes to proposed rates, water, sewer or waste charges than what was originally proposed,” he said.

“In fact, the changes reflect our desire to increase our level of service to the community and further enhance our commitment to customer experience. This is particularly so in our Development and Environment space.

“We’ve proposed additional resources recognising the importance of growth and investment in Singleton, the continued increase in the number of development applications and the number of active State significant development proposals in our local government area.

“The Operational Plan also includes a capital works program of approximately $36 million that will deliver a range of benefits to the Singleton community.

“I’m very confident that as a result, we’re going into 2022/2023 with a clear picture of what our community wants, how we’re going to deliver and a stronger financial position.

“It is now a matter for our elected Council to consider the documents and make a determination.”

View the agenda for Council’s ordinary meeting here.