Council strategy sparse on detail
City councillors have ordered further work on Hamilton's newly drafted economic development strategy after criticising parts lacking detail.
The proposed strategy underpins the city council's $1.8 million economic development operating budget and was considered by the council yesterday.
Central to councillors' interest was $430,000 earmarked for economic development projects, with some asking for further detail on potential uses of the funding.
Mayor Julie Hardaker earlier in the day praised the new strategy's intention to make the city council far more business-focused, which she said went hand-in-hand with its goal of making Hamilton a desirable place to live.
She said the new strategy departed significantly from the council's previous one, and would use tools such as regulatory functions to help business.
"Certainly what's happened in the past eight or so years is that events, as part of the city's economic development, have been ‘front and centre' because of the capital investment in Claudelands and the V8s," she said.
"This is really about back to basics - leadership, infrastructure and creating the environment in which business can do well," said Ms Hardaker.
Councillor Ewan Wilson said the draft was an acknowledgement that the previous economic development efforts of the city council had been a failure.
He was unhappy at the lack of detail on the projects budget.
"What we need is more details of how they intend to spend the $430,000," he said.
"How it will be spent and how that will be monitored."
Staff are already putting together a baseline "state of the economy" report compiling the city's key economic indicators to support the new strategy.
They have suggested quarterly economic indicator updates to council.
Also earmarked in the annual economic development budget are $492,000 for events sponsorship, and $392,000 for Hamilton Waikato Tourism.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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