HOUSEHOLDS in Hampshire will have their council tax frozen for the fifth year after county council chiefs decided to freeze its share for 2014-15.
Residents in the average band D property will pay £1,037.88 in council tax to Hampshire County Council, which will go towards the £1.45billion revenue budget for county council services.
Despite a 43 per cent reduction in Government funding over the next four years, the county council was able to plan a further £10million for adult social care and safeguard expenditure for the most vulnerable children.
The budget will also support a £750m capital programme for growth and investment in Hampshire’s economy and infrastructure, creating hundreds of private sector jobs.
Hampshire County Council leader Councillor Roy Perry hailed the ‘early action’ taken by the council to find ways to save costs and deliver services differently.
Hampshire receives the lowest amount of funding per person from the Government, in the whole of the country, and lobbying through the county council’s network, and meetings with Government ministers has led to an increase in the council tax freeze grant.
A portion of the New Homes Bonus grant will continue to remain in Hampshire and will be used to generate an additional £12m a year for the next three years.
The extra funds will be used to strengthen Hampshire’s roads, as part of the £139m committed to the structural maintenance of roads and bridges.
Cllr Perry said: “While other councils are less fortunate and are only looking at cuts and reductions, Hampshire is in a unique and strong position to make targeted and significant improvements to services, and improve its efficiency and value for money even further.”
He added: “We have used our efficiencies to actually fund improvements to services without having to ask the people of Hampshire to find more money from their pockets. Government grant has been cut by nearly half and we have to live within our means.
“I hope by keeping council tax at the same level for five years, we are doing what we can to help households live within their means, while providing them with some of the best services.”