Labor Team proposes better budget management for Bellingen Coffs Coast Coffs Coast News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - September 23, 2021 Bellingen Shire councillor candidate Paul Hemphill and his Labor team promise a more transparent Council with an all of shire focus, if elected. Photo: Bellingen Shire Labor. BELLINGEN Shire councillor candidate Paul Hemphill has revealed his Labor team’s proposal for sound budgement management of Bellingen Shire Council and the team’s commitment to transparent planning, spending and reporting, if elected. Under the Labor team’s plans, Council would avoid borrowing, aim to deliver a surplus, have an all of shire focus and ensure transparent planning, spending and reporting. “Bellingen Shire has a small council with an even smaller rate base; the spending of every cent has to be scrutinised,” Mr Hemphill said. “The challenge for Bellingen Shire is small growth in the number of ratepayers while the cost of government continues to rise.” Mr Hemphill said to ensure the Council lives within its means it must avoid borrowing and aim to deliver a surplus. “This will ensure we spend money where we need to,” he said. “We need to avoid expensive interest bills and make sure we don’t leave a burden for future generations. “Importantly, we will make sure the spending of funds is shared evenly across the shire, with the areas of greatest need getting priority.” Mr Hemphill said the Bellingen Shire Labor team intends to increase the transparency of all council planning, spending and reporting to help build confidence in Council. “All of Labor’s plans for sound budget management are funded within current council resources,” he said. The NSW Local Government elections will take place on Saturday 4 December.