David Marshall says he has reduced debt by 26 per cent per household. I heard, while conversing with others, when he came into office, the non-current borrowings were $115 million at the end of the 2015/16 financial year, and at the end of 2018/19 year it is $100million. This would equate to a 13 per cent reduction over the three years in office, not 26 per cent.
Could councillor Marshall explain how he calculated this savings, or correct me on my information? If what I was told is correct he is misleading the electorate and should publicly apologise whilst considering his future with the council.
Ewen Luskie, Katikati
Response from David Marshall
I thank Mr Luskie for his letter and the opportunity to clarify the situation.
Mr Luskie gives me too much credit as I alone have not cut council debt – Council works as a team and while I have lobbied strongly for lower debt and lower rate increases, the results are attributable to the work of the whole Council and staff.
Our net debt has fallen significantly in this term from $111 million (June 2016) to $80 million (June 2019) – the lowest net debt since 2006. This is a 27.5 per cent reduction in council net debt during this term.
Net debt per property has fallen from $5355 (June 2016) to $3651 (June 2019). This is a reduction of 31.8 per cent. (The number of properties has increased across the district during the term.)
I apologise that my candidate profile stated that the reduction in net debt/property was only 26 per cent, rather than the actual 31.8 per cent. This was due to my using preliminary data prior to the finalisation of the annual accounts.
David Marshall, Katikati-Waihi Beach Ward councillor