Huge cuts to services on way including closure of Bishop’s Waltham tip

Mayville High School, Portsmouth Advertisement
Mayville High School, Portsmouth Advertisement
Mayville High School, Portsmouth Advertisement
Hampshire County Council cuts

Hampshire County Council is planning a huge package of cuts that are likely to lead to the closure of Bishop’s Waltham tip, removing some school crossing patrols including the one at Chruch Road, Swanmore, slashing the budget for road repairs, cutting services for homeless people and axing community transport.

The Tory-run council says it has to make cuts to meet a £132 million budget shortfall by April 2025 because the Government isn’t providing enough funding.

The council has launched a consultation which runs until March 31st www.hants.gov.uk/future-services-consultation.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Rob Humby, said: “As our costs continue to rise, alongside growing demand for vital local services like social care for children and adults, our budgets remain under immense pressure.

We have almost exhausted the funding we have previously set aside in reserves to meet major financial challenges – that usually provides us with a financial safety net – and very soon there simply will not be enough money to go around.

Delivering local services in future is much harder with much less money available, which is a problem faced by councils nationally, and one which local government cannot address on its own.”

The list of the areas being consulted on covers:

Adult social care charges: Proposals to change the way contributions towards non-residential social care costs are calculated, so that the amount someone pays towards their non-residential care and support increases from 95% to 100% of any assessable income remaining once standard outgoings are paid for and an allowance is made for general living costs such as food, utility bills and clothing.

Adult social care grant schemes: To withdraw funding for three Adult Social Care grant programmes that assist voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations in Hampshire, namely the Council for Voluntary Services Infrastructure Grant, the Citizens Advice Infrastructure Grant and the Local Solutions Grant.

Competitive (one-off) grant schemes: To withdraw three competitive grant schemes which provide one-off grants to a range of community groups and organisations; namely the Leader’s Community Grants, the Rural Communities Fund (including country shows) and the Parish and Town Council Investment Fund.

Hampshire Cultural Trust grant: To reduce the amount of grant given to Hampshire Cultural Trust to manage and deliver arts and museums services.

Highways maintenance: To reduce planned highways maintenance activities, incorporating larger-scale structural repairs, surface treatments on roads, and drainage improvements.

Highways winter service: To comprehensively review and revise the criteria used to determine which roads should be treated as part of the Priority One network to better align with current national guidance and reflect changes in travelling and commuting patterns, and to update the routes accordingly.

Homelessness Support Services: To stop funding services that the County Council does not have a legal requirement to provide, that support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs): To provide a sustainable, cost-effective and fit for purpose Household Waste Recycling service within a reduced budget. This might involve introducing charging for discretionary services, implementing alternative delivery models, reducing opening days and/or hours or reducing the number of HWRCs.

Library stock: To reduce how much is spent on new library stock, such as books and digital resources, each year.

Passenger transport: To reduce the amount of money spent on passenger transport by withdrawing all remaining funding that the County Council is not legally required to provide. This includes funding for community transport services (incorporating Dial-a-Ride, Call and Go, Taxi Shares, Group Hire Services, and Wheels to Work), subsidies for bus routes that are not commercially viable, additional funding to extend the Concessionary Travel Scheme (older and disabled persons bus passes) and a review of the potential impact of reductions on the school transport service and social care budgets.

Rural countryside parking: To introduce car parking charges at rural countryside car parks (such as nature reserves and conservation sites) that the County Council manages, where it is expected that doing so would be commercially viable.

School Crossing Patrols: To review the School Crossing Patrols (SCP) service by looking at each SCP site to decide if alternative safety measures exist or could be put in place that would enable the SCP to be safely withdrawn or be funded by other organisations.

Street lighting: To reduce the brightness of streetlights further and to extend the periods that streetlights are switched off during the night (by 2 hours) – where it is considered safe and appropriate to do so.

How to have your say:

The consultation runs from midday on 8 January to 11:59pm on 31 March 2024. There are 13 service change proposals in total and views can be provided on some or all of them, as preferred.

Feedback can be provided by using the consultation Response Form, available via the consultation webpage: www.hants.gov.uk/future-services-consultation

Responses can also be emailed directly to Hampshire County Council via: insight@hants.gov.uk or write to Freepost HAMPSHIRE. (Please also write PandO, IEU, FM09 on the back of the envelope).

Copies of the information packs and the consultation Response Form, along with Easy Read versions of these documents, are available to view, download and print on the consultation webpage.

Additionally, each Hampshire library holds a standard reference copy of the Information Packs and a number of paper Response Forms.

For any queries about the consultation or if a paper copy of the Information Pack or the Response Form does need to be requested, or a copy in another language or format (such as audio, large print, or Braille) please contact: insight@hants.gov.uk, or call: 0300 555 1375.

Final decisions on the proposals will be made by individual Hampshire County Council Cabinet Members later this year.

 

 

Mayville High School, Portsmouth Advertisement
Mayville High School, Portsmouth Advertisement
Mayville High School, Portsmouth Advertisement