Over the last few months organisations have been working out their budgets for 2013 – 2014, and what is needed to balance the books. This will work out at an increase of just under 1%.
At our EHDC Council meeting at EHDC on Thursday 28th February, EHDC voted to increase its share of the council tax by 2%. This is only the second time in the last 6 years that EHDC has increased its share of council tax, and this is largely driven by the very large reduction in funding from central government. EHDC remains amongst the lowest in the country for Council Tax.
Our income has reduced by over £3,000,000 per year (a 50% reduction) and we have been able to balance the books so far by sharing a Senior Management team with Havant (saving £1,600,000 per year between the two councils) and a further £800,000 per year in a joint recycling and waste contract with Winchester City Council. Staffing levels have also been reduced and salaries have been frozen for 4 years now.
This has resulted in some difficult and uncertain times for the Officers and Staff at EHDC who have worked hard to deal with redundancies and maintain services while the changes have taken place.
The decision was not taken lightly, but for a band D property this will mean an additional £2.69 per year, or 5p per week.
Hampshire County Council – 70.1% of the tax bill – 0% increase
Hampshire Fire and Rescue – 4.2% of the tax bill – 0% increase
East Hampshire District Council – 9.4% of the tax bill – 2% increase = 5p per week
Hampshire Constabulary – 10.3% of the tax bill – 3.4% increase = 10p per week
Horndean Parish Council – 5.5% of the tax bill – 9% increase = 14p per week
The total difference will be £14.30 per year for a band D property. The pie chart below shows how Council Tax breaks down amongst the various organisations who take a share. Horndean Parish Council is in the top 10% of Parish Councils, but has extensive open spaces to maintain.