May Council Meeting Recap

Published on 28 May 2024

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Upper Hunter Shire Council held its May Ordinary Council meeting yesterday, where several key agenda items were discussed and approved. The meeting saw significant decisions aimed at enhancing community engagement, financial planning, and support for local projects.

The meeting began with an acknowledgment of the 20-year anniversary of the amalgamation of the former Merriwa, Murrurundi, and Scone Shires, which formed Upper Hunter Shire Council. This milestone was celebrated with an afternoon tea attended by former Councillors, followed by their participation in the Council meeting. This recognition marks two decades of unified service and progress within the Upper Hunter region.

Council endorsed the draft Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) for 2024/2025 to 2033/2034. The plan will be placed on public exhibition for 28 days, starting Monday, 3 June 2024, and closing on Friday, 5 July 2024. Community consultation will be conducted during this period to gather feedback, which will be considered before the final adoption at the July 2024 meeting. The LTFP outlines the financial strategies and projections for the next decade, incorporating rate peg increases, potential Special Rate Variations, and other key financial assumptions.

Council noted the Community Engagement Action Plan for the upcoming consultation process regarding the Special Rate Variation (SRV). The engagement process aims to ensure comprehensive community involvement through various channels, including direct mail, social media, community forums, and advisory committees. The consultation will run from 3 June 2024 to 15 July 2024, with a detailed Community Engagement Report to follow.

Council expressed its support for the Scone Race Club in their efforts to secure external funding sources for the Concourse redevelopment at the Scone Race Course. A letter of support, signed by the Mayor, will be provided to assist the club in their funding endeavours. This support underscores Council’s commitment to enhancing local recreational facilities and community initiatives.