Progressive budget puts EHDC in a strong financial position

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Budget puts money into services and reserves

Councillors passed a ‘progressive budget for tough financial times’ as they set EHDC’s finances for the coming year. 

The budget, agreed at our Full Council meeting on Thursday 29 February, includes investments in the waste collection service and welfare and calls for a £5 a year increase in the EHDC share of Council Tax at Band D. 

In the face of national and global uncertainty, the council will also put just over £2 million into reserves as a precaution against future financial turbulence. 

Cllr Charles Louisson, EHDC’s Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “Councils up and down the country are finding it very difficult to set balanced budgets this year. 

“The increase in inflation, the demand on public services and the erosion of Westminster funding over an extended period of time has led to unprecedented pressures on local government. 

“At East Hampshire District Council, thanks to our prudent investments and by constantly reviewing our operations, we have retained our services and continue to deliver for the residents of the district. 

“This year’s budget proposes a £5 increase in our share of Council Tax for a Band D property – that's less than 10p a week. 

“This small increase, together with operational savings and income generated elsewhere will safeguard the quality of our services into an uncertain future.” 

Among service improvements, the council proposes to plough £700,000 into the waste collection service. EHDC has recently replaced five vehicles in the fleet to improve service reliability, and these further investments will position the district for future enhancements to recycling. 

Elsewhere car park charges and other fees have been increased to allow service costs to be covered by the people that use them rather than borne by the general tax payer who may not.  

Cllr Richard Millard, EHDC Leader, said: “While other councils are making severe cutbacks or even declaring themselves bankrupt, we are retaining our services and investing in improvements. 

“This is a progressive budget for tough financial times. By saving money through service efficiencies and maximising our income we are making our money go further."