Gosport Borough Council is set to save thousands in new energy deal

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Gosport Borough Council is now sharing services with Portsmouth City Council and its energy budget is going to be reviewed.

As a council we have a responsibility to ensure we’re using energy as efficiently as possible

Cllr Stephen Philpott

The pair began sharing services in September, with Gosport paying almost £250,000 per year for services provided by Portsmouth.

As reported by The News, Gosport Borough Council recently made chief executive Ian Lycett and treasurer Julian Bowcher redundant along with other staff as it seeks to cut spending by £1.5m by 2020, to allow it to control 100 per cent of business rates and not be reliant on Westminster handouts.

As well as managing the council’s utilities and introducing energy efficiency measures, the new partnership will see solar panels installed on a number of council buildings, including four sheltered housing schemes.

Councillor Stephen Philpott, chair of Gosport’s Economic Development Board, said: ‘As a council we have a responsibility to ensure we’re using energy as efficiently as possible and making best use of public money, and this partnership can help us achieve that.

‘Portsmouth’s energy services team has a good track record of generating savings for the council and residents alike and I look forward to seeing similar benefits in Gosport.’

Cllr Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, also believes that the deal will prove fruitful.

He said: ‘It is about saving Gosport money and I am sure there are going to be more deals as time goes on.

‘The partnership is showing the value of working with others.’

‘A cut in the energy budget means it is a saving to the council taxpayer.’

Cllr Peter Chegwyn, leader of the Lib Dems, has also welcomed the deal but still has reservations about working with Portsmouth.

He said: ‘Anything that saves the council taxpayer money is a good thing. However, we’re yet to see proof.’

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