Youth scheme launched as tax is frozen

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YOUNG people will be given a chance to quiz councillors in a new scheme.

Fareham Borough Council is launching a regular youth community action team.

The plan comes as leader Councillor Sean Woodward said Hampshire County Council will probably stop most of its youth funding.

He said: ‘I proposed setting up a youth community action team so we can engage with youngsters.

‘Between them and the adult community we can assist understanding.

‘They will be regular meetings, probably a couple of times a year.’

He added young people recently questioned him at a meeting and he thinks engagement will help divert some people who could otherwise be led astray.

It comes as Cllr Woodward yesterday won a unanimous vote to keep the council’s element of the council tax at the same rate.

Fareham council’s element of the tax rate – set together with the county council, the police and crime commissioner and Hampshire Fire Authority – has been £140.22 for a Band D property since April 2009.

Last night Gosport Borough Council also met to accept the rates precepts from the other authorities in setting the tax for its residents.

Cllr Mark Hook is the leader of the district authority. He said: ‘Everyone else has confirmed their rate.

‘It was a recorded vote and of course everyone supported it.’

Gosport’s element of the council tax for a Band D property is £202.81.

Neither Fareham or Gosport councils increased their rate.

Under a government scheme, the council tax freeze grant, they will be rewarded for not increasing the rate.

Fareham will receive around £60,000 and Gosport will get £50,000 from the government.

Simon Hayes, Hampshire police and crime commissioner, was the only precepting authority to increase the tax.

He did so after warning the officers would have to be cut to make savings otherwise.