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Quality Services at Lowest Cost: Hampshire County Council’s 2013/14 Budget and Council Tax

Hampshire County Council will freeze its part of council tax again this year, keeping it at the same level for the fourth year running. It will remain one of the lowest county council taxes in England.

The council tax freeze has been possible because we took early and decisive action to respond to the substantial cuts to our general Government funding.

The Council has already achieved savings of £100 million over the last two years and we will continue to make more efficiencies, including savings of 2% this year across all of our departments. This will keep the Council in a strong position to continue to protect frontline services and manage future Government funding cuts, expected to be even tougher after 2015/16.

Our prompt financial action means that we can remain focused on providing high quality services. We are increasing funding this year for social care and child protection because we want to make sure that the vulnerable are protected and meet higher demand for these services. Promoting economic growth is another priority, such as through providing new infrastructure.

This information is about the Hampshire County Council element of council tax. Your council tax bill also includes amounts for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, your local district or borough council and, in many areas, a parish or town council.

What the budget will be spent on in 2013/14

(1) The increase in expenditure is due to the Government transferring duties to Hampshire County Council, such as public health.

(2) The substantial changes to the amounts we receive from Government grants and business rates result from major alterations to the local government funding system. On a like-for-like basis, our general Government formula grant has been cut by 8.7%.

(3) Council tax has been frozen but the total amount we will receive from it will reduce in 2013/14 as a result of Government changes to the council tax benefit system.

Your questions

What are you doing to help Hampshire’s economy?

Good transport infrastructure is vital to the economy so we’ll be spending £60 million on road maintenance and transport infrastructure in 2013/14. We’ll also be helping to provide broadband to rural areas which wouldn’t otherwise receive it.

How are financial savings being made?

We want to avoid cuts to frontline services so we will continue to make  savings through efficiencies wherever possible, such as joint working with other local authorities and reducing the number of offices.

What is being done to help the vulnerable?

We are allocating an extra £4 million to fund the costs of our Extra Care housing programme, which enables more people needing care to stay in a home of their own rather than go into residential care. We are also increasing the number of children’s social work teams so we can keep safe the rising numbers of vulnerable children.

Are you doing anything to reduce youth unemployment?

Youth unemployment needs to be tackled so we’ll be providing up to 1,000 apprenticeships over five years for 16-25 year olds to work with the County Council. This will help them gain the skills and experience they need for successful careers.

Some of the services we provide

 

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