County to freeze tax for fourth year

HAMPSHIRE council chiefs are planning to freeze council tax for the fourth year running.

The Conservative-run council said the Government is to reduce the grant it received by 8.7 per cent and 9.6 per cent over the next two years.

But bosses have already made savings of £100m in two years by axing 1,200 jobs and services.

Now departments – including children’s services, adult social care, transport, libraries and country parks – are being asked to find further savings of two per cent in 2013 and 2014 to shave 20 per cent of its budget over four years.

Council leader Cllr Ken Thornber said the local authority received one of the lowest grants per head of population of any county.

This year the council plans to save millions by merging corporate services in a new department, including human resources, IT and county treasurers.

There will be some job losses across the council but on a much smaller scale.

For example, adult social services is losing three HQ posts, library and museum services 14 jobs, and children’s services four posts.

The council plans to freeze vacant posts, reducing the need for redundancies.

The council tax rise and the rest of the county council's 2013/14 budget will be approved by the full council on February 21.

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