Havant Borough Council welcomes financial report on ending partnership

An independent accountancy institution has set out what Havant Borough Council must do in order to be financially sustainable as a stand-alone council.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has assessed the likely financial implications of the separation from East Hampshire District Council.

Its report states the council could have the financial resources available to go it alone but highlights a number of risks that must be mitigated.

It goes on to recommend several actions HBC can take to secure its financial position as an independent council.

Among other important actions the council has committed to establishing a Budget Working Group and preparing a plan to use available reserves.

On Monday 7 March, HBC’s Cabinet discussed the CIPFA report and approved a business case exploring the risks, benefits and costs of the withdrawal from the council’s 12-year partnership with EHDC.

Cllr Alex Rennie, HBC Leader, said: “The CIPFA report shows us what we need to do to remain financially sustainable as a stand-alone council.

“We will need to be diligent and responsible in how we execute our separation from EHDC but I am confident we can do this successfully and that we can look forward to an exciting new future.

“As an independent council we will be free to pursue our own objectives and explore new opportunities that are currently closed to us.

“We know there is a lot of hard work ahead, but this is the right move for Havant Borough Council and our residents.”

HBC began a partnership with EHDC in 2009 which saw a shared chief executive, joint management team and various shared services.

In January it announced it was looking to end the 12-year partnership and set up its own management team.

CIPFA, an internationally recognised accountancy and standard-setting body, was called in to look at the financial implications of the decision over the next few years.

Read the report and the options appraisal discussed by Cabinet on Monday 7 March 2022.

The business case will now be put before Full Council on 16 March.