It’s the last chance for Andover residents to have their say on the future of spending in Hampshire as the consultation’s end draws near.

Hampshire County Council is currently consulting on how to find nearly £80 million from its budget over the next two years due to the pressures of Covid on its finances. Options include introducing new charges for services, increasing taxes, and spending the council’s reserves, among others.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans said: “Our strong track record of careful financial planning, and prudent use of reserves has meant that the County Council is in a better position than most and has greatly assisted our ability to manage during COVID-19.

“Nevertheless, the absence of a multi-year funding settlement from the Government means that we continue to face a budget shortfall of at least £80 million over the next two years (2022/23 and 2023/24). Councils across England are facing the same budgetary pressures. This requires us to make more tough decisions about what the County Council can and cannot provide in future.

“Opportunities for reducing costs are getting harder to find as we have already reduced our spending by over £0.5 billion in just over a decade whilst demand for County Council services has continued to rise. Our financial strategy so far has involved targeting resources on those who need them most, such as vulnerable children and adults, planning ahead and securing savings early. This approach has helped us to invest in new, more efficient ways of working.

“The careful use of reserves has helped to address gaps in funding, as well as some of our COVID pressures, and enabled the County Council to meet the cost of higher demand in areas such as social care and looking after the vital infrastructure of the county, including our roads. However, we must consider further ways of making ends meet, at the same time as protecting vital services for the people of Hampshire.”

The council has appealed for the public to have their say to inform its thinking on what to do over the coming years, with further consultations planned once an outcome is reached.

If you want to have your say, you can fill in the online form here before July 18:

You can also get the consultation document from Andover Library, and email your response to