Budget plans: council tax to rise as county focuses on adult care

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budget tax rise
Hampshire County Council wants to save £80 by 2021

COUNCIL tax is set to increase to help fund multi-million-pound investments to boost Hampshire’s economy over the next three years.

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Under plans by the county council’s Conservative administration for the 2020/21 budget, there will be a 3.99% increase in the authority’s share of the charge – of which 2% would be specifically for adult social care, writes Maria Zaccaro of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The proposed increase would see council tax for a band-D property increase by £49.41 to £1,286.28, writes Maria Zaccaro of the Local Democracy Reporting Service. The rest is made up of smaller councils and the police and fire services.

The news comes as HCC revealed its budget for 2020/21 with a combined investment of £386.5m in roads, transport and children and adult social care services until 2023.

The total income from council tax in 2020/21 is expected to be just over £668m, a document revealed. This represents 84.3% of the total funding of HCC’s net budget.

HCC leader Cllr Keith Mans leader said: “This year’s budget plans follow on from our meticulous financial planning over the autumn.

“These aim to deliver the first of a two-year strategy to address an anticipated shortfall of a further £80m in the county council’s revenue budget by April 2021 – the expenditure needed to run the county council and deliver local services to the people of Hampshire.

“Securing savings early, reinvesting in more efficient ways of working and using reserves prudently has served us well to date.

“This approach has enabled the county council to remain in a strong financial position, and continue to deliver high performing services to residents – in the face of relentless pressure on our budgets.”

As part of the 2020/21 budget, the county council is proposing to invest up to £2m to tackle climate change and an extra £3m to maintain roads.

A total of £481m would be invested in adult social care and health services while an extra £22m would be put into children’s services.

Overall these two departments will see cash boosts totalling £1.4bn and £115.7m respectively over the next three years.

Meanwhile, £56m will be invested in environment and transport between 2020 and 2023, with a £27m investment planned for 2020/21.

HCC is anticipating the cost of running adult social care services in 2020/21 to be around £400m, and the cost of running schools to be around £900m.

For the next three years civic chiefs are pledging to invest £94.8m for new and extended school buildings in Hampshire; £115.8m for structural maintenance and improvement of roads and bridges; and £107.7m for major improvement of school and county council buildings.

More than £10m is also set to be spent on cycle and walking facilities.

The budget comes after the authority announced its plans to save £80m by 2021. As reported in the A&T, this could mean the loss of hundreds of jobs and the closure of libraries.

Cabinet members will discuss the budget at a meeting set to be held on Monday 3rd February before a final decision by full council on 13th February.

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