Horsham Rural City Council’s number of aquatic centre visits per person plummeted in 2015/16

Horsham Aquatic Centre: Picture: FILE

Horsham Aquatic Centre: Picture: FILE

HORSHAM Rural City Council’s number of aquatic centre visits per person has plummeted from more than nine to 6.7 in 2015-16, its annual report showed.

“The utilisation of aquatic facilities is lower than the previous year due to an average of 100 less memberships each month,” the report stated. 

“On average a member will attend the centre 3.3 times per week, which equates to 17,160 less visits per month.

“Horsham has also seen two major competitors open, which has had a significant impact on membership.”

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The report also stated that Horsham council’s expenses per resident grew from $2094 in 2014-15 to $2338, while its infrastructure spend per resident dropped from $20,614 to $20,496.

Rates and charges revenue divided by population came to $1614, which was a jump of more than $60 per person.

Underlying deficits of between 11 and four per cent have been forecast for each year stretching to 2020.

“The adjusted underlying surplus or deficit will remain constant around minus five per cent over the forecast period due to minimal increases in operating grants, user fees and rates, making minimal increases in operating expenditure,” the report stated.

Horsham council plans to accumulate about 50 per cent more unrestricted cash compared with liabilities over multiple years in order to meet loan repayments due in 2020.

The council’s loans and borrowings compared to rates revenue will increase from a ratio of 17 per cent in 2015, to 47 per cent in 2020, with increased borrowings to go towards capital works.

Horsham council’s full-time workforce is overwhelming male, but women have a more equal share of the higher paying jobs.

Council’s 2015-16 annual report stated that it had 190 full-time equivalent workers, of which 111 were males in full-time permanent employment.

The council employed 35 women in a permanent full-time capacity, and there were almost as many women in permanent part-time positions.

However, women were better represented in the higher salary bands and most men were in the $50,000 to $60,000 salary range.

There were slightly more women than men at Horsham council earning the highest salary band, which pays above $100,000 per year, and in the group where salaries were not defined by bands.

Cr Heather Phillips, who served as mayor during 2015-16, was paid an allowance of just over $47,000.

Former mayor Cr Mark Radford was paid $36,000 while councillors Pam Clarke, David Grimble, Tony Phelan, Sue Exell and Cr Robin Barber were each paid just over $20,800.

Cr Phillips was paid $5166.25 for travel expenses, with Cr Gimble claiming $10,000, Cr Phelan $9145 and Cr Radford $1821.

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