Test Valley Borough Council’s cabinet is putting forward its proposals for the annual budget as it sets out the spending plans for the next year. (April 2020/21)
The plans see significant funds allocated to green spaces, playground improvements and brand new waste vehicles as well as funding to continue plans for Andover and Romsey’s town centre.
Funding for sports facilities, other new vehicles and planting have also been accounted for over the next 12 months as the council continues to invest in vital services across the borough.
Over the past 12 months, the authority has also recruited new staff to help battle homelessness and invested in new electric vehicles for its environmental service as part of its efforts to reduce carbon footprint. New electric vehicle charging points, contactless payment machines and £600,000 for community projects have all been provided, too.
Now, the financial plans for 2020/21 have been announced before going to full council at the end of next month. They include £500,000 for green spaces, more than £400,000 on playgrounds and sports facilities and three brand new low emission refuse vehicles.
The proposed council tax resolution will see Test Valley’s portion of the council tax rise in line with inflation to help fund the millions of pounds that the authority spends on services across the borough every year – meaning residents would pay £146.41 a year for the average band D property, an increase of less than 10p a week.
Finance portfolio holder, councillor Maureen Flood, said:
“Despite reductions in the money we have received from central government over the last decade, we have taken the conscious decision to protect frontline services. Since 2008/9, we have managed to make savings of more than £13 million from budget through greater efficiencies – but in order to balance the books and continue to provide those first-class services, as well as invest in our town centres, leisure facilities and community schemes, we need council tax contributions to keep pace with inflation this year.”
“The success of Project Enterprise has meant over the last few years that tax has remained one of the lowest in the country and this will remain the case. The council is consistently in the lowest 15 per cent when compared to other district councils in the country and we are currently £41 below the average.”
Test Valley is the collection authority for Hampshire County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner and Hampshire Fire and Rescue, but less than nine per cent of the overall amount that residents pay in their monthly bill goes to TVBC for its services.