Council tax: What value for money do I get from my council tax in Portsmouth, Southampton, Gosport, Fareham, Basingstoke and East Hampshire

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VARYING crime rates, school standards and road conditions mean some people’s council taxes are going further than others.

Since April, district councils have been handing out £150 council tax rebates to residents, following orders from central government.

But new research from - which examined things like the percentage of roads needing repairs and how much household waste is recycled - showed disparities in the value of council tax across Hampshire.

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Do you get value for money on your council tax? Picture: Marisa CashillDo you get value for money on your council tax? Picture: Marisa Cashill
Do you get value for money on your council tax? Picture: Marisa Cashill

The study showed that people in East Hampshire get the best deal, with highly-rated schools and care homes.

By contrast, people living in Gosport and Southampton are getting the least for their money, with high levels of crime and poor recycling rates.

A Southampton City Council spokesperson said: ‘We know that recycling rates in the city need to be improved which is a priority for the new administration.

‘We are working on plans to upgrade the local material recovery facilities, with a new site proposed for Eastleigh, which will allow a wider range of materials to be recycled by every local authority in Hampshire and increase the recycling rates across the count.’

A spokesperson for East Hampshire District Council added: ‘We are always striving to provide our residents with value-for-money services and we are delighted that this has been picked out.

‘Value for money is always crucial but during the cost-of-living crisis it is particularly important residents can rely on their public services to be delivered efficiently and effectively.

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‘Of course, there is always more that can be done and we will continue to search for innovative new ways to improve our public services and keep costs down.’

Gosport Borough Council, which scored the lowest in the study, said it wasn’t an accurate representation.

A spokesman said: ‘This is not a serious study.

‘It's misleading because as a district council, Gosport Borough Council is not responsible for any of the services listed, apart from recycling. We're aware that our recycling rate is low and we're working to improve it further.

‘We're working hard to engage directly with residents on this issue through events, neighbourhood surgeries and community group talks as well as through schools.

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‘Our garden recycling scheme in particular has been very popular.’

Social care is provided by Hampshire County Council.

The county council manages schools - excluding those that have become academies.

In the full list of Hampshire councils, Portsmouth is also towards the bottom for council tax value for money, while Fareham sits towards the top.

Portsmouth scored poorly on recycling and crime rates, as well as social care - which it runs itself as a unitary authority.

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Andy Biddle, director of adult social care for Portsmouth, said: ‘The council and CCG have worked with care providers throughout the pandemic to support them to maintain the quality and safety of their service and work closely with any where quality of care is an issue.

‘CQC suspended their inspections at the start of the pandemic and have now moved to a different regulatory regime, so some care homes have made significant improvements since their last inspection but their existing rating has not changed.’

Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Cllr Sean Woodward, said: ‘It is great to see that the Council has been recognised so positively in relation to the value we provide to the Fareham community.

‘We work incredibly hard to make sure that our services run as efficiently as possible and we do this through meticulous financial management. As a result, we have one of the lowest council tax rates in the country.

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‘We strive to improve continuously in all our service areas and we will continue to work with local residents to deliver additional value wherever we can.’

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council also has lower rates of council tax than many other parts of Hampshire.

Council leader, Cllr Simon Bound, says value for money is a crucial part of the council’s ethos.

‘We are committed to delivering high quality services which make a difference to our residents’ everyday lives,’ he said.

‘As the waste collection authority, the borough council cannot decide what can be recycled through our waste services. We are still seeing too many things in the rubbish bins that could be recycled from home, including tins, cans, plastic bottles, paper, card and glass.

‘We continue to actively promote recycling in the borough and encourage our residents to recycle as much as possible as well as working with partners across Hampshire, through Project Integra, to broaden the range of items that can be recycled.’

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