FORMER deputy mayor Peter Binny is seeking election as councillor and mayor of the Derwent Valley Council. Mr Binny lives at Granton and has provided the following statement for publication.
“For those of you who don’t know me, I care passionately about the needs of people who live in the Derwent Valley. We need a council that listens to you and reacts compassionately and effectively to issues. If you elect me as councillor and mayor, I will make it a priority to listen and respond. In particular, we need better maintenance of roads and public spaces, good services especially for young people and the elderly, good business and tourism support, public safety and environmental care. And we must keep any increases in rates needed to sensible staged levels, rather than dumping a huge rise on people in one hit.
“With the support of fellow councillors I will endeavour to introduce and efficiency dividend of 2.5% per annum for each of the four years of this term of Council. Council costs have risen beyond the capacity of ratepayers ability to pay and need to be reined in and restored to sustainable levels. The ratepayers of Maydena have been hit with a 48% general rate rise this year and they are finding it very difficult to pay this increase in taxation on their properties especially those on fixed incomes.
“I’ve been to Maydena and explained the reasons for the rise, which could have been capped by council BUT WAS NOT, and suggested they apply for a payment plan and rate remission so they are better able to fulfil their obligations to pay this exorbitant taxation. Other residential ratepayers have had a 10.65% rate rise and many on fixed income will have difficulty paying the instalments especially as two instalments are due within five weeks.
“Again with the support of fellow councillors I would seek to dispose of surplus residential land, thus enabling the construction of additional dwellings which will lead to an increase in the rate base and help with the council’s cash account problem. There is also surplus public open space zoned land which could be rezoned and sold. I would also seek to rezone land on the outskirts of New Norfolk for residential developments which would further increase the rate base and also increase the number of smaller dwellings to house an increased population. Over 50% of dwellings in the Derwent Valley Council area have only one or two occupants. There is a shortage of one and two bedroom dwellings for young couples and the elderly to purchase so that the larger houses are freed up for families with children.
“I have successful business experience in the Valley and have raised a family in this beautiful place. I believe our Council needs to do better. I am not concerned with self-promotion, but rather with your needs and well-being. Let’s restore pride in this council and how it gets things done.”
NOTE TO READERS: Readers’ comments on the council elections are welcome. For publication, all comments must include the name and locality of the writer, for example “Damian Bester, New Norfolk.”
FROM THE EDITOR: All candidates for election to the Derwent Valley or Central Highlands councils are invited to submit statements for publication on this website as well as in the print edition of New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News. Contact the editor for details.