Radical move will see a cut in council tax

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COUNCIL tax will go down as an authority takes a ‘radical’ approach.

East Hampshire District Council has agreed to reduce its share of the council tax bill by two per cent.

The move makes it one of the only councils in the country to make such a cut.

Conservative leader Ferris Cowper said: ‘Our financial strategy is radical and unique.

‘Where many councils cope with a drop in income by raising taxes or cutting services we have decided to go a different way.

‘This is a long-term decision taken in the light of our ambitious plans to demonstrate that local government can be totally refinanced away from government hand-outs and taxes, leading to independence from government and nil tax.

‘By cutting our council tax for the 2016/17 financial year we will show our ambitious plans are serious and achievable.’

The move will leave Band D properties paying £134.58.

It is expected government grants to councils will eventually disappear altogether. Business ventures, the sale of services to other local authorities and investment in blue-chip commercial properties are bringing in extra income to the Petersfield-based council.