Havant Borough Council approves budget and bold new vision for the borough

Havant Borough Council has this week launched its bold new corporate strategy which sets out its new vision for the future as it embraces regeneration, Freeport status and new government investment in its high streets.

The strategy, which outlines its priorities over the next three years, has been approved alongside the budget for the forthcoming financial year at its Full Council meeting.

The council, through its budget and new strategy, has made a commitment to become a place shaping authority.

At the meeting, councillors agreed to increase the borough’s element of council tax. This will see a Band D property’s bill rise by less than 10 pence per week (£5 per year) from £214.48 to £219.48. This is due to the inflationary pressures facing the council but still represents good value for money with Havant Borough Council delivering more than 80 statutory services.

A major focus of the strategy is on regeneration and particularly targeting Havant and Waterlooville town centres – this will be bolstered by the recent announcement that it will receive central government investment as part of the High Streets Task Force.

The strategy also makes clear the council’s commitment to playparks and open spaces, with a major investment progamme planned.

The council, which is also part of the Solent Freeport, will use this sought-after status as a catalyst to ‘level-up’ its deprived communities – while making a case to government for a new skills centre in Leigh Park.

The coastline is a huge asset and the strategy sets out how it will protect it for future generations by looking to enhance Hayling Island by consulting with residents on its vision for its future. It also sets the ambition for allowing residents to enjoy our seafront with new wellbeing parking permits planned.

The council will work with partners in the public sector, community groups, developers and investors where it can to deliver its exciting strategy.

The strategy focuses on six themes to provide:

  • An environmentally aware and cleaner borough
  • A safe environment, healthier and more active residents
  • A thriving local economy
  • A revitalised borough with infrastructure that meets our ambitions
  • A responsive and commercial council
  • A quality home for all

These themes will all be supported in a way that takes account of the council’s aspirations to reduce the impacts of climate change.

Cllr Alex Rennie, Leader of Havant Borough Council, said: “Our balanced budget and refreshed Corporate Strategy sets out our ambitious plan for the borough in the next 12 months.

“We have an exciting place-shaping agenda that aims to make the borough a better place to live, work and visit. This includes making progress on our regeneration plans and delivering improved open spaces and play parks.

“However, we are taking seriously the financial implications of our decision to end the shared partnership with East Hampshire District Council. This will mean we have to take a thorough review of how we deliver services for residents in the months ahead. But ultimately this is about putting our borough’s residents first and delivering for them.”