Two percent increase in Council Tax approved by councillors
Friday 1st March 2013
The increase means that the average households, Band D properties, will have to pay an extra £2.69 a year or 5p a week towards the services provide by the council.
Councillors made the decision at their meeting on Thursday night in response to the continuing financial pressure caused by low government grants and increasing demand on services.
After a period of only two tax rises in six years EHDC remains among the lowest in the country for Council Tax charges.
The Government has allowed low-charging councils to raise Council Tax by up to £5 per Band D property, a rise of around 3.7 per cent, but councillors did not want to place any unnecessary financial burden on the district’s residents.
Instead the budget has in part been balanced by making savings through delivering services more efficiently.
EHDC’s partnerships have played a big part in this. A partnership with Havant Borough Council – sharing a Chief Executive, management and some services – has saved around £1.6 million a year across the two councils. Meanwhile, a waste and recycling partnership with Winchester City Council has brought a further saving of £800,000 a year. Staffing levels have been reduced and salaries have been frozen for four years.
The council will also make good use of the New Homes Bonus, an amount provided by government according to how many new houses have been built in the local area.
EHDC Leader Cllr Ken Moon said: “We have a proud, long-standing record of keeping Council Tax low in East Hampshire.
“The financial situation is the worst since the war and the annual grant we receive from the government has halved over the last five years.
“We know residents and businesses locally are also feeling the effects of the economic downturn and that is why we have worked hard to keep the Council Tax rise below inflation and well below the maximum rise permitted for the council.”
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