Thursday, June 17, 2021
formerly Meon Valley Local News Team


Hampshire Residents Face Big Council Tax Rise

By Maria Zaccaro , Local Democracy Reporting Service in News on March 16, 2021

Hampshire residents will be faced with a council tax rise from April.

Hampshire County Council’s council tax precept will go up by 4.99% – with 3% of the increase going towards adult social care services.

This means that the council tax for a Band D property will increase by £64 per year to £1,350.45.

It comes as the county council has approved its budget for the 2021/22 financial year.

Presenting the plans during a full council meeting held yesterday, Cllr Stephen Reid said the council has responded positively to the Covid-19 emergency.

He said the authority is now planning for the recovery and the proposed budget represents “a positive and constructive way forward for Hampshire”.

As previously reported, the authority is planning to invest £13m to improve the resilience of Hampshire roads.

The council also pledged to invest £418m in schools, roads, transport and climate change over the next three years.

Of this, £118m will be used to improve roads and bridges; £68m to expand school buildings and £33m to reduce carbon emissions.

But Cllr Keith House, leader of the Liberal Democrats at the county council, criticised the budget.

“It has no hope, it has no vision. Even without active support from the government, more could have been done with the big issues we face in our county,” he said.

Cllr Jane Frankum, leader of the Labour group, said she “struggled” with the proposals to increase council tax at a time which is “the most difficult for lots of people”.

There are no new saving proposals as part of the 2021/22 budget.

It comes as plans to save £80m by 2021 were approved in 2019 and saw a number of cuts such as the closure of some council-run libraries.

Cllr Keith Mans, leader of the council, said: “This last year has been one of the hardest, if not the hardest financially to manage in this council’s history. However, our strong position at the start helped us weather this particular storm of Covid-19. ”

But he said a long-term strategy to deal with increasing demand in adult social care is needed.

He added: “It’s been a difficult budget to put together but I am absolutely convinced it’s the right one.”

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