Clarification to Guardian Article, Wednesday 19 September, about the Taxpayers’ Union’s Ratepayer’s Report:
The information request from the Taxpayers’ Union for the average residential rates was not ‘refused for a second year running’. Council advised the Taxpayers’ Union that there would be a charge to provide the information, as collating this is a time-consuming manual process within our system. Charging for the work would reduce the burden of cost away from ratepayers. The Taxpayers’ Union declined the charge and were not provided with the information.
Reported figures for personnel costs per household and the number of employees paid over $100K are misleading as the calculations includes employees of Westroads Ltd (WRL), a Council Controlled Company, therefore the methodology is flawed. There is no financial burden on Westland ratepayers from WRL. It is a profitable company that returns dividends to Council. Fees paid to Westroad Ltd are paid in the same manner as any other business contracting services to Council. The Taxpayers’ Union refused WDC requests to clarify this information. Information about Council staff numbers and remuneration costs is available in Council’s Annual Reports.