Councils across Hampshire welcome budget but some want more

Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts warned of tough times ahead in the wake of the 2014 Budget

Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts warned of tough times ahead in the wake of the 2014 Budget

First published in Hampshire Business
Last updated
Andover Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

COUNCILS across Hampshire welcomed measures in the Budget to help local people, but some called for more to be done.

Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said efforts to help businesses would have a positive effect on the town, creating more jobs.

He said an extension in business rate relief for enterprize zones was a “fantastic piece of news economically for Fareham” as it will affect the Solent Enterprize Zone at Daedalus.

This means all aviation, aerospace and marine industries at the site which do not have to pay business rates for five years will now not have to pay them for eight years.

Cllr Woodward said to each business this could be worth up to £255,000 in business rates and he hoped this would translate to more jobs for local people.

He said: “Our ambition is to create 3,500 jobs at Daedalus and this is a great assistance towards us doing that.”

Andover Advertiser: Sean Woodward.

Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward welcomed business boosts

He also welcomed the reduction in corporation tax.

Eastleigh Borough Council leader Keith House said: “Taking lower paid people out of income tax and reducing income tax for most families is helping people as the economy starts to grow again and is the same approach as Liberal Democrat Eastleigh that has cut council tax in real terms every year for eleven years in a row.”

Barry Rickman, leader of New Forest District Council, said that any money on offer to help repair and reinforce flood defences was gratefully received in the wake of damage on the seafront and at Hurst spit as well as localised flooding.

He said, with a generally slightly older population in the New Forest, measures to help savers and pensioners was good news.

Cllr Rickman added that businesses and residents would all benefit from freezing of petrol duty.

“It seems an encouraging budget for people who want to help themselves,” he added.

However, Hampshire County Council leader Roy Perry called for the Government to do more to help local authorities whose grants had been severely reduced in recent years.

He said he would like to see greater funding for education, care for the elderly and transport.

Although he welcomed the additional £140m for flood defences and £200m for repairing potholes, he said the money is unlikely to go far.

Andover Advertiser:

Hampshire County Council leader Roy Perry

He added that he would like to see councils in England given more powers to manage their own tax, spending and borrowing.

Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, pictured, warned people will face tough times ahead and said: “The budget does very little to the cost of living prices.

“People on average and below average wages will continue to struggle in the year ahead.”

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