Mayor not preparing a 4.5% rate rise despite Loft's claims
CLAIMS mayor Gerard O'Connell is already preparing a budget for the next council has been squashed.
Challenger Chris Loft claimed Cr O'Connell had instructed staff to prepare a rate rise of 4.5% in the next budget.
The council's chief executive Lisa Desmond said she had not received any instructions from any councillor about preparing next year's budget.
"Gerard has not directed us to do anything in relation to budgets at all," she said.
"Councillors have had no discussion in formulating a 2016/17 budget."
Cr O'Connell said he could not prepare a budget as it was "highly inappropriate".
"This joins the ever-growing list of lies and innuendo meant to cause some political harm," Cr O'Connell said.
But when Cr Loft was questioned about his claims, he said fellow mayoral candidate Jannean Dean had heard the mayor's comments.
But Ms Dean disagreed with Cr Loft, saying Cr O'Connell had not mentioned future rate rises.
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