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Hampshire residents could see council tax bills rise as Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council looks to plug £1m funding gap

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Proposal will be discussed by full council next week before going out to public consultation

NORTH Hampshire residents could see their council tax bills rise as Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council looks to plug a £1m funding shortfall.

It is proposing to increase the precept – the borough council part of the overall council tax bill – by £5 a year when it sets its budget for 2021/22.

The plan will be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday , before going out to public consultation.

If approved, it would take the average borough council part of the council tax bill to £131.42 per year.

The council has put forward the proposals due to a combination of rising costs and demand for services and a huge reduction in government funding.

Like many others across the country, the council’s budget has also been put under further pressure as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The council described it as a budget that “protects frontline services, while ensuring the borough remains a great place to live and work in the future”.

It added that it would enable it to maintain services that residents value, including weekly bin collections, community safety patrols and keeping areas looking their best.

The budget also includes previous commitments for additional funding to increase community safety patrols and a new scheme for councillors to support small-scale projects in their communities.

To help fund services, as well as an increase in council tax, a three-per-cent average increase in fees and charges to help pay for the costs of these services without putting the burden on council tax payers is being proposed.

Over the last 11 years, the council has been forced to find savings of £15.1m.

Ahead of an expected £1.92m funding gap in 2024/25, additional savings and income of £3.21m have been identified in 2021/22, increasing to £3.77m by 2024/25.

Additional cost pressures of £2.15m in 2021/22 reducing to £1.6m in 2024/25 have also been included in considering the budget proposals.

Residents will be able to have their say on the proposals from next Wednesday by visiting www.basingstoke.gov.uk/budget2020

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