RESIDENTS could be set to see a tax increase as Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Conservative front-benchers gave their backing for a budget proposal for the next financial year.

At the cabinet meeting on Tuesday night last week, members approved the draft proposal put before them which would see council tax increase by £5 for a Band D property for the 2019/2020 year.

Despite this increase, cabinet members said that the borough still remains one of lowest tax bracket district councils in Hampshire.

Cabinet member for finance, service delivery and improvement at the borough council, Councillor Robert Tate, said: “This continues the trends established in previous budgets and maintains the borough’s status as a low taxing high spending per head borough council.

“It maintains service levels for our residents and continues to support those less fortunate in our communities.”

Cllr Tate added: “Less support from central government funding sources continues to be a trend and increases pressure to achieve significant results from the borough’s treasury management and investment programmes and to seek continuing performance improvements in service delivery and cost management.

“We are clearly working in difficult times, but with this budget I believe Basingstoke will be able to continue to thrive and flourish.”

Leader of the borough council, Cllr Clive Sanders, added he felt that in tough financial times, the ruling administration has been able to ensure residents have been able to access services, and this has been in part due to the controlled budget.

Cllr Sanders said: “We have been fortunate enough to have a forward-thinking budget, which has meant that we have been able to invest wisely throughout the borough.”

As part of the proposals, £394,700 will be carried over from the 2018/19 budget, to be put towards a WordPress website, the Local Plan and Leisure Park redevelopment.

The budget will now go to full council later this month.