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


New County Council Cuts May Mean Closing Tips And Axing School Crossing Patrols

By Maria Zaccaro , Local Democracy Reporting Service in News on June 11, 2021

Hampshire residents could face a council tax hike and cuts to services as county bosses look at how to save £80m over the coming years.

A number of recycling centres across the county could close, some health services could be axed and the amount of care and support paid for by Hampshire County Council could be reduced.

Council tax could also go up, services such as the school crossing patrols could end and free bus passes on taxi-shares and community transport could be stopped.

The measures are some of those that could be put in place by Hampshire County Council in a bid to save £80m by 2024.

It is not yet known whether jobs would be at risk.

Civic chiefs warned that some of the proposed moves could mean that fewer people would have access to public health services and there could be reduced funding “for services where there may be an increased need due to Covid-19”.

But technology could instead be used to run and improve other services. It comes a public consultation has been launched and will run until July 18th.

The council said there will be further consultations on specific services and stressed that no decisions have been made.

Among the measures that could be taken there are lobbying the government and using council’s reserves.

However, the authority said the remaining uncommitted reserves “only leave enough money to run services for around 14 days”.

According to official documents, a number of other measures could be put in place.

These include stopping council’s grants to organisations in the social care sector, reducing funding in support of homeless people and reducing the amount of care and support that is paid for by the council for people receiving social care services.

The number, type or location of services relating to substance misuse and sexual health could also be reduced.

Cllr Keith Mans, county council leader, said opportunities for reducing costs “are getting harder to find” as the council has reduced its spending by more than £0.5 billion in the past decade.

He added: “Our strong track record of careful financial planning has meant that the county council is in a better position than most and has greatly assisted our ability to manage during Covid-19.Nevertheless, the absence of a multi-year funding settlement from the Government means that we continue to face a budget shortfall of at least £80 million over the next two years. Councils across England are facing the same budgetary pressures. This requires us to make more tough decisions about what the county council can and cannot provide in future.”

He urged residents to take part in the consultation which will run until 11.59pm on July 18.

The feedback received will be used to shape the budget proposals, Cllr Mans said.

He added: “No prior decisions have been made regarding the proposals. Decisions relating to specific services will be subject to further, more detailed, consultation.”

The government has been approached for comment. For the consultation visit www.hants.gov.uk/balancingthebudget

 

Comments


  • With fly tipping on the increase, closing the amenity tip seems very short sighted – it can only make matters worse

  • What can we the council tax payers do to stop cuts in services that we ALL need I am sure everyone would be willing to help keep services running in these difficult times

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