AS detailed in the Press Release below, Willoughby Council has had a good financial outcome for the past year.
Council achieved a surplus of over $13M with its cash reserves increasing by $14M and all financial indicators exceeding benchmarks.
However, Council only spent $3.5M in the year on capital works funded by its infrastructure levy. In line with many past years, Council was unable to spend its budget on infrastructure needing to carry forward over $1M. Perhaps this is because Council has reduced its workforce?
Revenue from The Concourse was positive and borrowings were able to be reduced by over $2M.
Whilst over $2M was saved in wages, many are concerned that this has seen a drop in Council’s level of service. It seems to have been some time since Council undertook a resident/ratepayer satisfaction survey.
A full report will be placed in front of Council on the 24th October and available on Council’s website from the 19th October 2106.
COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE
Willoughby City Council’s strong and stable financial position has been confirmed with Annual Financial Statements reporting a surplus operating position of $13.142M ($35.536M inc capital items), significant cash and cash reserves (increase of $14.172M from 2015 to $104.284M in 2016), and with all financial indicators exceeding benchmarks.
The audited Statements were adopted at last night’s Council Meeting, and show Council’s focus on improving services, facilities and programs through smart financial and organisational management is paying off for the local community.
Highlights of Council’s financial position, and the resulting ways projects and works are benefiting the community include:
Infrastructure Levy – Council’s commitment to providing its community with quality assets is embedded within its Long Term Financial Plan and is built on funding from the Infrastructure Levy, introduced in 2015. With the Levy, Council will invest a total of $40.269M over seven years into renewing and maintaining assets to meet community standards and expectations.
In the 2015/16 year the program of renewal works totalled $3.421M, including:
- Bridges – $227K
- Buildings –$1.230M
- Drainage – $464K
- Footpaths –$431K
- Parks -$433
- Playgrounds –$209K
- Sporting Fields -$427K
- An amount of $1.097M was carried forward by Council to 2016/2017 and a further $59K restricted in Reserve in order to complete all budgeted works.
The Concourse Precinct, Chatswood – Excluding the Library, The Concourse precinct returned an operating surplus of $1.68 M. There has been an improvement in the annual principal outstanding on The Concourse borrowings of $2.145M from $44.093M to $41.948M.
Improved delivery of Council projects – The implementation of a Project Management Office has seen Council systemise and prioritise all Council projects, ensuring effective delivery of works and services to the community. The Office has played a significant role in the success of the first year of the Infrastructure Levy, with 96 per cent of planned projects either completed or commenced at 30 June.
Decrease in wages and on-costs – There was a saving to budget on Employee Costs of $2.02M. An actual spend of $39.79M compared to the original budget of $41.81M
“The Annual Financial Statements show Council is in a strong position as we move forward through times of potential change,” said Willoughby Mayor, Gail Giles-Gidney. “It’s fantastic to see that we are delivering a wide range of services and facilities required and expected by our community, and doing it in a way that shows Council’s focus on improvement through smart financial and organisational management,” she said.
The Financial Statements and Auditor’s Reports will now be presented to the public at the Council Meeting on Monday 24 October 2016.