Council tax increase to support services

COUNCIL tax is set to increase following a meeting with the county’s top bosses.

Hampshire County Council’s cabinet has agreed a council tax increase of 2.99 per cent to help cope with the rising demand for services.

Leader Councillor Roy Perry said: ‘The rising pressures on services mean that our planned savings programme needs to deliver £140 million by April this year. 

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‘Nationally, the number of vulnerable children and adults continues to rise, and Hampshire is no exception. The population of over 75-year-olds is set to increase by 30 per cent over the next seven years – an extra 5,500 people a year who may well need social care support, to varying degrees. 

‘The number of children in care has increased by 372 (28 per cent) in the last three-and-a-half years alone. While we have robust action plans in place to help contain this increase, especially to avoid the need for a child to come into care, there is no doubt this rise in the number of people needing our help is the biggest pressure the county council faces.’

The charge for a Band D property will now equate to an increase of just under £36 per year or 70 pence a week, and will generate an additional £18m for county council services.

The overall bill also includes district and borough councils, parishes, police and fire.  

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Councillor Perry added: ‘Over the next three years, the county council will be delivering one of the largest capital programmes of any county council which will see improvements to roads, bridges, walking and cycling infrastructure and school buildings. 

‘If we are to sustain Hampshire’s quality of place, it is vitally important there is extra provision for roads and schools as we see more housing development, and we are doing our level best to make sure this happens in Hampshire.’

The county council does not cover Portsmouth or Southampton and services in these areas are covered by Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council respectively.