The budget (or “Resources Plan”) should show the allocation for each project for this year, last year and the next two years. For this year, it should also show other sources of funding for that allocation, for example, from grants (from RMS, Federal Roads to Recovery, Sport & Rec, etc) or from Section 94 (developer) contributions.
If you want to have some input into the council budget and annual plan, then it is a good idea to be aware of the annual timeline for preparation and delivery of the budget.
- Dec-Jan: Council officers are coming up with ideas and proposals for ‘budget bids’. Chat with any you know (or could get to know), whether traffic engineers, transport planners, parks managers or environmental project staff. See whether you can interest them in your suggestions.
- Jan-Mar: Managers, directors, CEO & Mayor are sifting and refining budget bids.
- Mar-Apr: Councillors are involved in negotiations for the draft budget (usually called “management plan”).
- May: Council must exhibit their draft management plan for public comment and must ‘take into account’ public submissions. They often don’t get many, so a well presented submission or comment can work very well, especially if you’ve done the background work.
- June: Councillors decide on the final management plan (budget).