THE BOROUGH council will be increasing its part of council tax if its latest budget proposal is approved later this month.

As previously reported, Basingstoke and Deane Borough council decided to hold a public consultation to get feedback from residents on the budget proposals to support the refocussed priorities in the updated council plan for 2023 to 2027.

This included an average 10p per week council tax increase, bringing the borough’s part of the council tax to £141.42 a year for the average household.

READ MORE: Basingstoke sees increase in council tax, car parking charge

Despite the proposed increase, the council previously said this is expected to be one of the lowest in Hampshire, and most of the rest of the country, again.

The cost of bulky waste collections and replacement waste bins are due to be frozen for the next year.

Following the public consultation, held between November last year and January this year there has been no changes.

Basingstoke Gazette: Cllr Gavin James, left, and Cllr Paul Harvey, rightCllr Gavin James, left, and Cllr Paul Harvey, right (Image: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council)

The medium term financial strategy and budget update report 2024/25 to 2027/28 states: "After due consideration of the consultation responses, which demonstrate the council is well aligned with its residents, there are no changes to the budget proposals put forward by cabinet."

The latest plan will allow more money to support the delivery of high-quality services and pledges set out in the updated Council Plan are at the heart of the budget proposals for the next year.

This includes an additional £750,000 to keep the borough’s streets and open spaces clean and well-maintained, £180,000 more to improve play areas and £165,000 to drive forward the delivery of much-needed affordable housing to tackle the borough’s growing housing register.

Alongside this, there are also plans for additional investment to support the borough’s community and voluntary sector and funding to continue the council’s free events programme to support the Top of Town in Basingstoke.

Tackling the borough’s climate and ecological emergencies is a also key thread running through the proposals.

With the cost of living challenges that residents continue to face, proposals also include funding to continue the innovative work of the Basingstoke and Deane Social Inclusion Partnership tackling homelessness and schemes to support victims of domestic abuse and continuing council tax support, as well as funding for community transport to help residents who cannot access public transport.

The proposals include additional funding to maintain natural areas and drive forward the delivery of a biodiversity strategy as well as money to power more community centres with solar panels to help meet the borough’s challenging climate targets.

According to the paper's report on the consultation the overall approach to the council’s proposed budget for 2024/25 was supported by 40 per cent of respondents and 17 per cent disagreed with it. While 43 per cent neither agreed nor disagreed with them or didn’t know.

Some of the main concerns related to introducing food waste collections, achieving carbon neutrality and supporting small and independent business.

Meanwhile 60 per cent of respondents agreed with the proposals to freeze bulky waste and replacement bin charges for 2024 to 2025.

Co-leader Gavin James, said the council are in a strong and positive position to deliver services without risking the future finances of the council.

SEE ALSO: Basingstoke town centre will be illuminated over February half term

During the meeting Cllr Ken Rhatigan raised concerns. He said: "We need to ensure that our rural communities are not forgotten about as we move forward with spending money, allocating capital or income to improving their lives. We already know  there is a big shadow coming forward on changes to waste and that will cost us money."

He said these residents must not be forgotten as the council focuses on the town itself.

Leader Cllr Paul Harvey said the council has consistently listened to residents over the years investing in the key areas and the authority is in a good position finically. 

The final decision about the budget will be made during a full council meeting on Thursday, February 22.