The County Council will keep Council Tax frozen for another year – maintaining the current level for a fifth consecutive year. We have budgeted to avoid any increase in the Council Tax you pay, while making sure we provide for increasing demands on services, such as social care for vulnerable children and the elderly. Hampshire’s Council Tax remains the lowest of county councils in the south east, and one of the lowest in the country.
Savings of around £140 million, largely forced on us through the loss of more than 40 per cent of our grant from central Government, will have been achieved through an unprecedented change programme we have put in place. We have an overall savings target of £230 million by the end of 2015. This is transforming and modernising the way we work to help develop new ways for us to deliver important local services, while locking in quality and greater value for money. We have adapted to a more commercially-minded culture, working with other public services, including district and borough councils, Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, reducing the cost of office space and support services to ensure that essential services are protected. You can read more about our approach to delivering the best possible services, in our budget feature and in the other articles in this edition