East Hampshire District Council has frozen its share of Council Tax for the forthcoming year, one of only a handful of councils around the country to do so. The freeze follows two consecutive cuts, bringing Council Tax down to 2010 levels.
The decision, unanimously agreed by EHDC at its Full Council meeting last night, forms part of our ongoing ambition to be financially self-sufficient and no longer reliant on either Government grants or Council Tax.
EHDC is committed to having the capacity to reduce Council Tax to zero. When that happens we may still charge a nominal tax and use the proceeds to deliver new or better services. To achieve this the council has set itself ambitious targets to generate income through means such as selling skills and property investment while also providing our services more efficiently. These methods have allowed the council to make two consecutive cuts in Council Tax – the only council in the country to achieve this – backed up by this year’s freeze.
Our commitment to keeping Council Tax low has been held up by our innovative approach to public services. Instead of relying on government grants and increases in Council Tax we have looked for new ways of making and saving money.
This includes investing in property, especially commercial properties with high-value long term tenancies where there is very low risk.
We have also been selling services to other local authorities, looked for other ways to share costs with other Councils and offered services to local businesses.
EHDC has also been working hard to provide its services more efficiently and is always looking for new ways to provide excellent public services at a lower cost.
Council Tax will be frozen for 2018/19 at £131.11 for a Band D property.
Hampshire County Council are increasing their precept by 5.99% which is a 2.99% increase for their core services and 3% specifically to support adult social care pressures. For a Band D property this equates to an extra £1.31 per week or £65 per year.
To read more about the HCC increase click on this link HERE