Gawler 2013-14 Annual Report - page 51

Page 51
Town of GawlerAnnual Report 2013/14
Achievements&FuturePlans for 2013/14
Financial Sustainability
As recently as the 2009/2010 and2010/2011
financial years, Council was recordingunsustainable
recurrent operatingdeficits of $3m. In addition,
Council’s overall financial positionwasworsening
as a result of annual loan borrowings of $3m,
whichwasmaterially increasing interest costs
which subsequently constrainedCouncil’s ability to
reduce its operating costs and improve its recurrent
operating performance. Due to the introduction of
more effectivebudget management techniques
(which arepredominantly driven byCouncil’sBudget
Management Policy), improved cost management,
effective treasurymanagement, and on-going services
reviews, Council has dramatically improved both its
financial performanceand position - to theextent that,
excluding extraordinary items, Council has realised
anunderlying operating surplus of $169k for the
2013/2014 financial year - the first timeCouncil has
achieved a surplus since the2006/2007 financial year.
Elector RepresentationReview
TheTown of Gawler undertook anElector
RepresentationReview in2013 so as toensure the
fair and adequate representation of electorswithin the
council area.
The review investigates the size, composition and
ward structure, in accordancewith the specified
process andaddressedmatters detailedunder
Sections 26and33of the Local GovernmentAct.
Council resolvedat itsmeeting on 24September 2013,
• the current name of Council be retained;
• the principal member of Council continue to be
aMayor electedby the community at council-wide
elections inNovember 2014.
• the council area not be divided intowards (i.e.
retain the existing “nowards” structure); and
• Council continue to comprise ten (10) area
councillors and theMayor.
The final report was endorsedby theElectoral
Commissioner of SouthAustralia andgazettedon 5
December 2013.
Debt Collection
The percentage of outstanding rates as at 30 June
2014 saw a further decrease from the previous year
(5% to 4.4%), but the result was slightly above the
policy target of 4% for 2013-2104. The introduction of
reminder notices has facilitated an ongoing reduction
in the value of rate debtors.
PolicyDevelopment andReview
Town of Gawler reviews itsPolicies andCodes on a
regular basis to ensure they aremeeting community
and legislative requirements.Acopy of current Policies
andCodes can be found onCouncil’swebsiteor are
available for viewing at theTownHall during office
Through ongoing consultation theTown of Gawler is
well aware that the local community expects services
to be cost effective and financially viable.
Council’sworkforcemust constantly adapt tomeet
the improved service expectations of the community
within existing budgetary constraints. The increased
use of technology and online transactions is a classic
example of how service provisions have changedover
time. Council continued to review service delivery
and efficiency factors this financial year witha specific
focus onCommunications andMarketing, Out of
School HoursCare, Visitor InformationCentreand
Volunteer Services.
FuturePlan - ServiceDelivery
Council will further progress investigations to drive
ongoing improvement in service delivery. Fundinghas
been allocated in the 2014/15Year Budget toachieve
further efficiency and effectiveness improvements.
Promoting a safeworkplace
Council is currently operating a host of health and
wellbeing programs including health assessments,
information sessions and health coaching. Council
provides access to anEmployeeAssistance
Programwhich provides confidential support to staff
for workplace and personal issues. Council has
completed revising all of itsWorkHealth andSafety
(WHS) system documentation ensuring it is compliant
with the newWorkHealthSafetyAct 2012. Training in
theWHS system is currently being rolled out to staff in
linewithCouncils training plan.
introduction • summary •
• statutory information • index
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