Council tax to be frozen in Fareham for third year

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COUNCIL tax looks set to be frozen for another year for people living in Fareham.

If approved, the move means the borough’s residents will have paid the same amount to the council since April 2009.

It means that a band D property will pay £140.22 monthly for the financial year from 2012 until 2013.

The government has provided £250,000 as a rate support grant which is given as long as councils agree to freeze the council tax.

But this year it will be just a one-year grant and councils will have to budget for the amount next year.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘We’re looking to go for our third year freezing council tax. We have had a 40 per cent reduction in government funding.

‘Times are very hard for people.

‘Well over a quarter of our government grant has gone now and there will be more to follow.

‘On this occasion there is a one year grant but we are already working on savings to replace that grant for next year.’

When residents were consulted about council tax charges, many people asked for the council to strike a balance between raising service charges and small increases in council tax.

Fees and charges across the borough will be increased but Cllr Woodward said that parking charges would not be one of them.

He told The News that parking charges across the borough will be frozen in a bid to keep the town centre running successfully.

Cllr Woodward added: ‘Shopping centres like this one are important.

‘There isn’t a money tree where we can get more so it’s important that we look at all ways of saving money.

‘People that use our services must be expected to pay for them.’

The council is consulting with residents about car parking across the borough.

Councillors will discuss the issue at an executive meeting at the civic offices on Monday.