9 Jul 2013

Councillor says council had rating downgrade coming

7:03 pm on 9 July 2013

A Christchurch city councillor says he is not surprised the council's credit rating has been downgraded.

Having made a fresh assessment of the council's political and managerial strength, international credit-rating agency Standard and Poor's is moving the rating from A+ to AA-.

Councillor Tim Carter says the council's debt levels are out of control and a big downgrade was always on the cards.

Blaming the situation on poor leadership and management, he says the council needs to be more responsible with its debt levels.

Standard and Poor's says its A- rating for Christchurch airport, owned by a council subsidiary, is unaffected by the downgrade.

Public happy with services, survey shows

In the same week as the council lost its building consents accreditation and suffered the credit rating downgrade, a survey was released showing high levels of public satisfaction with the services it provides.

The council-commissioned survey shows 70% of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied overall with council services.

Satisfaction with major council events including Summertimes, Kidfest and Guy Fawkes remains high at 78%, but has slipped compared with last year when it sat at 88%.

Satisfaction with customer service is up from 67% in 2012 to 83% this year.

However, respondents were less satisfied with the council's effort at communicating what it does, down from 66% to 53% this year.

No one was asked to rate the council's performance in processing building consent applications.