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Hands off Hampshire

Due to the Governmentís recent changes to the way it funds local authorities (which has reduced Hampshire's funding in favour of urban authorities in the North and Midlands), Hampshire County Council had to increase the countyís council tax charge by 15% this year in order to protect the services provided to the people of Hampshire.

The "Hands off Hampshire" public awareness campaign highlighted the possible implications for Hampshire residents of the Government's proposal to change the way it funds local councils.

We asked you to pledge your support for Hampshire County Councilís efforts to stop the changes taking place. The 22 November saw the close of the e-petition with the final number of supporting signatures totalling 2,739 all of which we presented to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Under the Government's changes, money it gives to councils in the South East is being redistributed into urban and metropolitan areas in the North and the Midlands to support deprived areas:

deprivation is not only an issue in the North and Midlands, there are pockets of deprivation right across Hampshire, some of which are amongst the worst in the Government's own measures.

Hampshire has suffered a reduction in Area Cost Adjustment (ACA) funding, which was in place to reflect the higher costs in the South East of recruitment and retention of staff, of social care and in contracting other services:

  • proper account needs to be taken of the higher cost of providing services in the South East

  • higher property prices in the South East lead to higher mortgages and rents and to longer, more expensive travel-to-work distances, so that council tax payers in the South East may have lower disposable incomes than equivalent council tax payers in the North and the Midlands.

    Hampshire County Council is against the changes to funding as they will have a major effect on Hampshire residents, resulting in substantial council tax increases for the coming years.

  • the Governmentís decision to go ahead with the changes has caused a loss to our budget of around £48 million.

    Hampshire County Council have taken the follow action:

  • created the campaign slogan "Hands off Hampshire" to help highlight the issue of the proposed funding changes

  • gained the support of our MPs and councillors so that they can lobby Parliament on behalf of us all

  • engaged with the local and national media to help keep you informed and to open up the debate to a wider audience

  • talked to other organisations to create a supportive network, including the South East Counties Leaders forum and other county and district councils.

    For further information please visit the Hantsweb "Hands Off Hampshire" campaign website.

    Article posted on: 09 April 2003

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