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New Forest residents' average council tax bill set to rise by nearly £90




New Forest District Council's Appletree Court HQ in Lyndhurst
New Forest District Council's Appletree Court HQ in Lyndhurst

THE combined council tax bill in the New Forest is set to go up by an average of 4.77% when district councillors vote at a meeting tomorrow (Thursday) evening.

It means the average band D property faces a total bill of £1,923.90 for 2021/22 – an increase of £87.55 on last year.

The figures have been recommended for approval at a full meeting of NFDC after its share of the charge was backed by the ruling Conservative cabinet earlier this month.

The district council is set to raise its minority part of the bill to £183.36 for a band D home – up by £5 (2.8%) on last year.

A meeting report said: “Although the district council has no control over the expenditure of the other organisations, it has to ensure that the council tax is set at the right level to meet the combined budgets.”

Most of the overall charge is from Hampshire County Council, which is due to confirm its spending plans on Thursday morning. As well as NFDC, the bill includes demands Hampshire police and fire services, and town or parish councils.

For a band D home, Hampshire County Council is charging £1,350.45; Hampshire police £226.46, and Hampshire fire service £70.43. The average town and parish council bill is £93.20.

Hampshire police has demanded residents pay the biggest increase towards its portion of the bill compared to last year (up by 7.89%), followed by HCC (4.99%), NFDC (2.8%) and the fire service (1.98%).

The services justified the proposed increases by blaming recent government funding cuts and the coronavirus pandemic.

At the last NFDC cabinet meeting, Cllr Jeremy Heron, member for finance, praised the administration for a track record of “addressing tough financial challenges”.

But ahead of the full meeting on Thursday Cllr David Harrison, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group, accused the eight-member cabinet for dictating policy and putting Tories at the head of scrutiny committees, which he said prevented accountability.



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