1:06 PMCareful cost management is not part of the council's planning process.
Please refer to Manningham Council's 'Council Plan 2012-2017' and 'Financial Strategy 2013-2023' documents.
How does our council plan it's finances?
Please see page 1 of the Financial Strategy.
"Council’s ten year Financial Strategy has been prepared to:
- Set down Council’s financial objectives, goals and targets for the coming ten year period;
- Detail the outcomes sought and the measurements by which Council is to be accountable to the community for its financial management;
- Forecast the revenues required, and the application of those revenues on services and infrastructure over the ten year period;
You will observe that this is the other way around to how the private sector works. Private companies usually forecast their sales first then work backwards to determine what projects they can afford and do.
However our council first lists what it wants to do then they figure out how much money they need to raise to do what they want.
Now please see on page 2 of the Financial Strategy:
"The Financial Strategy supports Council decision-making by forecasting the levels of resources (i.e. income, the amount of your money they take) it can achieve under its various rating and pricing policies to support the range of Council services and value of capital development it wishes to provide to its community."
And also on page 15
"Council rates are calculated by dividing the value of the inflows required from Council Rates by the total Capital Improved Value (CIV) of all properties."
Putting all these together, the council first figures out what it wishes to do, then adjusts the rates, charges and service fees until they get the income they need. Then the ball is in our court to pay what we are billed.
There is no 'private sector' approach in any of this, where those in the private enterprise have to first earn the money by selling things people actually want and are prepared to voluntarily spend their money on.
Manningham Council simply turns to us ratepayers and bill us for what they 'wish' to do. It does not matter whether we think what they provide is worth the price paid. We simply have to pay what they say, whether we like it or not.
When the council can forcibly take whatever money it needs, or wants, from it's ratepayers and when there are few, if any, avenues open to ratepayers to challenge the council's costs or opt out of services, there is little need for the council to treat costs the same way that private organisations would.
To Manningham Council, the ratepayers are simply a revenue stream that they can call upon again and again to fund what the council wants to do. The ratepayers have never been asked, as far as I can tell, whether they think the council is giving them good value for money.
13 Aug 2013.
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