Gosport’s council tax is frozen for third year

Plans to turn former Portsmouth GP practice into flats approved

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COUNCIL tax will be frozen for the people of Gosport for the third year in a row, councillors agreed last night.

At a full council meeting, the freeze was recommended by the ruling Conservatives at Gosport Borough Council and was agreed by all parties.

It means that residents in an average band D property will still pay £202.81.

This will be added to tax charged by Hampshire County Council and the police and fire authorities.

Councillor Mark Hook, council leader, said: ‘We have made difficult decisions in the challenging financial climate we find ourselves in.

‘If we don’t continue to take steps now to live within our means we’ll end up paying higher taxes and face even deeper cuts to restore balance to our economy.

‘Gosport’s residents expect us to act in a responsible manner in delivering a budget to meet their priority needs and especially so in these extraordinary and challenging times.

‘I am determined to keep the bills for our residents down and that is why, for the third year running, Gosport’s Conservative administration is proposing no increase to the council tax.’

It came as a total budget of £10,539,690 for the coming year was agreed by a majority vote – only around £167,000 less than last year.

But Cllr Peter Chegwyn, leader of the Liberal Democrats, criticised the Conservatives for making cuts to public services, including a reduction in funding for CCTV cameras.

‘Yes, it’s a difficult time in local government,’ he said.

‘It’s difficult for all of us. But all of us are here to try and protect public services.

‘Cutting further services doesn’t leave a better standard of living for people in this town.’