Hampshire council eye ‘tough decisions’ over £80m gap in budget

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TOUGH decisions are needed to help plug an £80m budget gap, the county council has warned.

Councillor Roy Perry, pictured, leader at Hampshire County Council, said there was an ‘increasingly difficult balancing act’ in meeting constituents’ needs and saving the cash.

The projected black hole in the 2021/22 budget comes on top a £480m cut since 2008.

Cllr Perry said: ‘We are going to have to prepare to take some tough decisions about how to plug this projected £80m gap by 2021, as it will come on top of a required £480million budget squeeze since 2008.

‘We now face an increasingly difficult balancing act in trying to meet residents’ needs given the backdrop of diminishing budgets and rising demands for services.

‘Even so, as well as meeting all our statutory duties, we will continue to do everything possible to address the issues we know people care most about – from supporting the most vulnerable adults and children, to fixing Hampshire’s extensive road network.’

The county council said its cabinet is looking at investments, innovation and more collaboration to help bridge the gap. It pointed to its use of robotic grass cutters used for verges and Alexa devices to help people live independently.

A meeting on June 18 will discuss the budget proposals. See democracy.hants.gov.uk