District Council will put money raised by a two per cent increase in Council
Tax towards supporting the district’s most vulnerable people.
The increase was
agreed by the council at its meeting on Thursday 27 February. It will amount
to 5p a week for the average household but would contribute around £215,000
to the council’s Welfare Fund.
The council has
previously made clear that residents’ wellbeing is one of its top priorities,
with a particular focus on social isolation and mental health in young
Cllr Richard Millard, said: “I am extremely proud of this budget and what it
“As a council we
have a responsibility to look after everyone, especially those who are not in
a position to help themselves. That is why we all became councillors in the
Tax increase will go a long way to providing services and opportunities for
some of the district’s most vulnerable people.”
This is the
first time in seven years the council has raised its share of Council Tax.
Louisson, EHDC Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “This budget seeks to
balance the need for prudence with our visions as a council.
“We are running
our finances like any family budget - if we can’t afford it, we won’t do it –
while seeking efficiencies that allow us to provide better services at lower
cost. Savings don’t have to mean cuts. This delivers a secure financial
position with strong reserves.
allow us to support vulnerable residents through our welfare agenda to make a
real difference to the people who need our help the most.”
two per cent increase the budget also puts money aside to support other
A fund of
£50,000 has been earmarked for environmental projects as part of the EHDC’s
commitment to fighting the climate emergency.
once again have £4,500 to spend on local initiatives in their own wards. As
part of the new budget, £1,000 of this allocation must be spent on green
includes £250,000 for Enhance East Hampshire, a strategy to improve key parts
of the district.
£500,000 has been allocated to the council’s property portfolio to cover
maintenance or voids. EHDC has turned to property investment to replace
income lost from dwindling Government funding over the last decade. The
council’s portfolio currently provides 33 per cent of the council’s total
income, and this reserve will help protect it.
For the first
time, the council will review the budget in six months to assess its