Some reservations expressed about Bayswater council annual budget

Some reservations expressed about Bayswater council annual budget

BAYSWATER Council passed its annual budget 2017-18 after halting last night’s special meeting for 30 minutes to address concerns over reserve funds.

Main features of the budget include rates increasing by 4.9 per cent, $153,000 in funding for community clubs, $2 million to purchase Carter’s wetlands and more than $1.2 million towards the Bayswater Waves upgrade works.

The budget was not carried by an absolute majority on the first vote, so Mayor Barry McKenna called for a short recess time to allow councillors to reconsider and discuss with officers.

Cr Dan Bull said there were structural issues in the way reserve funds were handled.

Cr Alan Radford said he was not happy with the $1.12 million allocated in reserve funds, which were worth about $4.5 million in previous budgets.

“It is not sustainable; I hope it is a one-off,” he said.

Following the break, Cr Bull proposed two amendments to the motion after seeking advice from chief executive Andrew Brien.

The first amendment was for an item to be considered by Council to include an appropriate amount in the budget to proceed with the Meltham Precinct Structure Plan if the West Australian Planning Commission rejected the plan.

The second amendment requested Mr Brien to prepare a strategy for consideration by Council to address the methodology of amounts to replenish to reserve funds by the August council meeting.

Both amendments were passed with the budget 7-1.

Cr Catherine Ehrhardt said Council could deal with buying the Carter’s wetlands.

Deputy Mayor Stephanie Coates said she still held concerns over some aspects of the budget, but nothing could be done about it.

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