Havant Borough Council has announced a £5 increase in Council Tax as it works to protect services and support vulnerable residents through the coronavirus pandemic.
The increase relates only to HBC’s share of Council Tax, less then 9 per cent of the total bill.
It would see Band D households paying £214.48 for Havant Borough Council services.
The unique challenges laid down by the coronavirus pandemic has made budgeting very difficult for local councils. Regular income streams have been affected and, in some cases, replaced by one-off government grants.
Havant Borough Council has managed the financial impact of the pandemic well and has always been in a position to help residents affected by the crisis.
Changes in the way the council operates has also led to unexpected savings, such as the reduction of travel and printing costs.
As always, services were asked to identify savings to put forward. Heads of Services were challenged to review their budgets and fees and charges where appropriate. These resulted in identified savings of £490,000.
One-off Government grants included the New Homes Bonus of £347,0000, Lower Services Tier Grant of £200,000 and a Covid-19 Grant of £743,000.
Cllr Mark Inkster, Cabinet Lead for Finance, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it new challenges and additional responsibilities.
“During this period we have worked to help the most vulnerable people in our communities with food and deliveries and supported our hard-hit local businesses with the timely distribution of grants.
“The council has had to act quickly to respond to the needs of the residents and businesses while ensuring the organisation remains in a strong financial position.
“During 2021-22 uncertainty around the impact of Covid will remain and once the pandemic passes there will be considerable work on the recovery of the area and likely financial pressures as a result of the expected recession.
“A Council Tax increase of £5 a year for band D properties, less than 10p a week, will help keep the council on a secure financial footing and shore it up against any economic impacts in the coming months and years.”