Budget Talks At Hampshire Council

Hampshire County Council is to set its budget for 2012/13 at a meeting of the full council today - Thursday 23 February.

The proposed budget freezes council tax, builds on the reductions in running costs already made, protects essential frontline services for the most vulnerable and paves the way for significant capital investment in key areas.

Ongoing cuts in public sector spending led to Hampshire losing 14.3 per cent of its Government grant last year and will see an additional cut of 10.4 per cent in 2012/13, with further cuts yet to be confirmed for the next two years.

Hampshire County Council has planned to meet the funding reductions and budget pressures it faces over the Government?s four year comprehensive spending review period - in two years. This is to reduce uncertainty, capture efficiencies early and put the Council in a strong position.

The Council is now halfway through its ambitious two-year £100million efficiency and expenditure reduction programme that has focused reductions on operating costs and looked to modernise service delivery rather than cut services.

This means for 2012/13 savings of £45million are required - but overall, around half of these are already secured as a result of the full year impact of previous budget decisions taken.

The County Council will freeze Council Tax in 2012/13, which means it will have been at the same level for three years - at a time when household budgets are under pressure. Band D Council Tax will be £1,037.88, one of the lowest in the country.