It's council calling, can you help?

A PHONE survey to help identify spending priorities is to be carried out throughout the community from December 2 as part of the budget consultation process for 2009-2010.

“Consulting with the community is a vital part of the way that the council identifies the facilities that the area either needs or would benefit from,” said Stephen Sawtell, council's general manager.

A sample of 400 residents will be interviewed by phone to find out their views on which local facilities and services should be considered budget priorities.

The phone poll will be carried out by Jetty Research, which has been commissioned to reach a wide variety of people from all over the local government area.

“Council has taken a new approach to its budget process this time around,” said Craig Milburn, council's director of corporate business.

“The overall aim is to make sure that we are confident that we have really identified the priorities and the funds we have available.

“We know we're rich in community ideas, but poor in terms of resources, so we want to be able to develop a clear picture of where money should or needs to be spent.

“We're already asking council staff to look carefully at that question by using a zero-based budgeting method. With this approach, each manager scrutinises their projects - looking at need and resources - costs them in detail, makes a risk assessment and creates a priority list to present to council. In addition, we're also putting into place a 10-year financial model to plan into the future with more accuracy than ever before.”



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