Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Hampshire residents face council tax hike as council looks to plug £80m black hole

Plans to plug an £80m black hole in the county council’s budget have taken a significant step forward – but it looks like residents could be hit in the pockets.

Hampshire County Council’s cabinet agreed on October 12 on a range of plans to slash the budget by April 2023.

But included in these plans is a proposed 3.99 per cent increase on council tax from the county council.

Hampshire residents could face a council tax hike. (52755162)
Hampshire residents could face a council tax hike. (52755162)

These plans will now go before the full council on November 4 for a final decision.

The council has pinned the need for budget cuts on reduced Government funding and the increasing demand for core services, such as social care.

Council leader Keith Mans (Con, Brockenhurst) said: “The county council has a strong track record of financial stewardship alongside high performance, and we continue to apply these strengths to the ongoing budget pressures.

“Our ambition in this round is to achieve these two-year savings by managing inflation and demand pressures across services, rather than reducing overall spending in key areas.

“This will also enable us to consider additional spending in the budget of a further £7m in the maintenance of Hampshire’s roads, over £3m per annum to boost children’s social care and investing up to £22m in our capital programme to support the social care needs of younger adults and those leaving hospital.”

A total of £20m will be slashed from children’s services and £3.3m from culture and communities.

However, plans to slash the public health budget have been changed following a public outcry.

The council had announced plans to cut £6.8m from the public health budget, with cuts to sexual health, substance abuse treatment, 0-19 nursing (including school nursing) and anti-smoking campaigns.

But at a health and adult social care select committee meeting, officers unveiled plans to instead cut of £3.1m – less than half of what was initially proposed.

It comes after 3,060 people responded to the consultation, with particularly fierce opposition to the reduction of school nurse support and bringing an end to psychosexual counselling.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt, with councils having to spend more to keep vital services afloat.

Mr Mans added that there are “some extremely hard decisions” ahead for the council.

He continued: “We face our biggest challenge to date – and regardless of Government’s recent announcement of adult social care reforms, which do not address at all the burgeoning longer-term costs from continued growing demand within this sector.

“Government must take action to address the national issue of growth in adults’ and children’s social care, as it’s simply not possible to keep reducing services to meet growth costs in others – a concern also shared by residents.”

Following full council and potential further consultation, the budget cuts will be prepared for a final consideration in February next year.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More