A COUNCILLOR has claimed that the financial health of a Hampshire borough is being “gambled” with as cuts to council tax are approved.
Eastleigh Borough Council announced a cut to its council tax for the eighteenth consecutive year last week.
The 0.4 percent reduction means that this year the average Eastleigh Borough Council element for a Band D household is £129.39.
Now though, the Conservative Group Leader at the council, Cllr Margaret Atkinson, has advised residents not to be “taken in” by the decrease in tax.
“This is a gimmick and will only save council tax payers around 51 pence a year – not even enough for a cup of coffee. What the reduction does mean is that Lib Dems have cut the council’s annual tax income by £25,000.
“This could have been used to ensure core services are still provided, including keeping the gutters swept on a timely basis to prevent surface damage, blocked drains and flooding.
“This is not a time for council to keep gambling with the financial health of the borough when its own income cannot be assured as we recover from the pandemic and local businesses assess the way forward.”
The councillor claimed that the Conservatives wanted zero change to council tax this year to ensure services could continue.
Leader of the council, Cllr Keith House claimed however that the reductions in tax will continue for the next two years, making it two decades of real term cuts.
He added: “We continue to provide high quality, value-for-money services whilst not increasing the Eastleigh Borough Council element of your council tax.
“We believe this to be an unequalled record and commitment anywhere in the country, whilst at the same time avoiding significant reductions in our services.”