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From the office of the Mayor of Hamilton

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate expresses her sincere appreciation to Hamiltonians, who took the time to provide verbal feedback at this week’s public hearings.

“I’m immensely grateful to the public for their invaluable ideas, and passion to make our city the best it can be,” said Mayor Southgate.

“Times are very hard right now, with rising cost-of-living pressures for households, businesses, developers, community groups and even Councils. We are facing tough financial pressures and there is no easy solution. I wish there was.

“In proposing a draft plan, I had already cut the budget significantly to try and get rates down. But we have heard from the city, we simply must do more to ease the burden.

“I have asked staff to look again to find savings from our capital programme. At the same time, we must continue to look after core infrastructure efficiently and cost effectively. I am clear that I want the city to thrive. We cannot run our city into the ground.

“I believe our CBD must be vibrant and accessible. I am open to re looking at how we make parking work better for our CBD.

“I also want to ensure we are listening to our community groups, taking into consideration the important role they play in enriching our city and supporting those most in need.

“I have also asked staff to provide advice on what we can do for developers, who have said development will be unaffordable under the proposed DC policy. We must reduce the red tape and make it easier for developers to build much needed homes, commercial and industrial space that our city so desperately needs. I have consistently said we need affordable homes and new businesses.

“However, today more than ever, we must ensure every dollar is invested wisely. That is my focus.”

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