A panel of councillors led by the Finance portfolio holder will be established to make recommendations to the CEO for expenditure savings.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly contributed to a 2020-2021 forecast recurrent deficit of $33.4 million, with the recently elected council group agreeing that ongoing deficits aren’t sustainable.
The Council Expenditure Review Panel will make recommendations on where savings can be made from the current and/or future budgets, as a way of balancing the books in the medium to long-term.
The City’s CEO will work with the panel to develop a process for the community to make expenditure savings suggestions.
The panel will review all suggestions and present recommendations to the CEO by March 2021 for consideration for the remainder of the 2020-2021 financial year and 2021-2022 Council Budget, before disbanding.
The decision came as a result of a successful Notice of Motion raised by Councillor Anthony Aitken.
Mayor Stephanie Asher
The pandemic has significantly impacted the City’s bottom line.
It’s so important that the Council and City continues to strategically balance its fiscal responsibilities with supporting the community.
As Mayor, I’ll also be on the Council Expenditure Review Panel and look forward to hearing from community members on where they think savings can be made.
Councillor Anthony Aitken
The Notice of Motion because a large deficit isn’t sustainable and will strain future budgets.
Given the City’s forecast operating deficit for the full 2020-2021 financial year has grown to $8.8 million more than predicted, it’s prudent of council to look for modest opportunities to reduce our expenditure.
I look forward to the new panel hearing from community members on where they think cost savings can be made and what they value in the City’s operations.