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Published: 2008-05-23 00:00:00

Hundreds of public submissions have been made on various scenarios for future levels of Hamilton bus services and regional pest control outlined in Environment Waikato’s 2008/09 Draft Annual Plan.

Environment Waikato had specifically asked the community for comment on a range of spending options covering the buses and pest control.

Hamilton buses were mentioned in 619 submissions, or 72 per cent, out of the 806 total submissions on the Annual Plan, while there were 255 submissions (31 per cent of the total) commenting on pest control spending options.

Of the 619 comments on the buses, 39 per cent favoured the Option 1 scenario under which bus services will expand quickly, while 27 per cent approved of the council’s preferred Option 2 which would see a somewhat slower introduction of new services.

However, another 23 per cent favoured slowing things down even more by implementing Option 3, and another nine submitters supported no increase at all in services. Another 50 submitters made comments on buses but indicated no preference on the options.

On various options for expanding pest control, 35 per cent of comments about this favoured no cuts to existing Long-Term Council Community Plan spending projections, 25 per cent favoured the lowest level of cuts, four per cent favoured deferring even more spending, and another 35 per cent favoured the highest level of cuts proposed.

The next step in the process is for the full council to hold hearings on the submissions next week. In their written submissions, more than 80 people indicated they wanted to speak at the hearings.  Up to four and a half days are available for the hearings.

After that, three days of deliberations on the way forward are set down for 9-11 June involving the full council. All submissions will be fully considered during these deliberations. Based on council’s recommendations following hearings and deliberations, a revised version of the 2008/09 Annual Plan and associated documents will be adopted at the council meeting on 26 June. Consideration of the report on the setting of the rates will also be on the agenda.