Government set to cut cash for county

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GRANT reductions from the government to support vital services in Hampshire have been criticised by county leaders.

Hampshire County Council – which provided services such as schools, adult social care and road maintenance – is expecting a lower grant from the government.

Exact figures are not yet available, but leaders expect it to be reduced from last year.

Ken Thornber, leader of the county council, said: ‘We knew the outlook for local government finance was likely to continue to be difficult and the headline figures from the government show that once again Hampshire will have the biggest reduction in grant compared to other county councils.

‘We are disappointed in the further grant reductions, but we were expecting this and we are confident that our forward planning will stand us in good stead to tackle the financial challenges over the next two years, although there are tough times ahead for the next decade.’

Leaders said the budget for next year would be prepared on the assumption the council will receive £5.3m for freezing the council tax for the fourth year running. More savings may have to be made.