AN INCREASE in council tax is being proposed as part of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s budget plans for 2020/21.

Cabinet members of the borough council approved plans for a £5, or 10p per week, average increase proposed for the borough council part of the council tax.

An additional £100,000 is proposed to increase community safety patrols to help tackle local issues, such as antisocial behaviour.

Plans also include investing in a new scheme for councillors to support more small-scale projects in their communities.

As well as a small increase in council tax, proposals to balance the budget include a three per cent average increase in fees and charges to help pay for the costs of these services without putting the burden on council taxpayers.

This includes increasing Sunday parking charges, like other operators, in council owned car parks in line with weekdays and Saturdays.

However, free parking for the first hour has been kept in Albert Yard, Castons Yard, Feathers Yard and Jacobs Yard car parks.

Further savings of £1.42 million have been identified in 2020/21, increasing to £1.82 million by 2023/24.

Executive director of finance and resources at the borough council, Sue Cuerden said: “Although the council has a history of strong financial management, we have some tough challenges ahead of us with reductions in funding and rising costs and increasing demand for our services so it is important that we look at opportunities to address funding gaps now and in the future.

“Each year the council is required to set a balanced budget and these proposals sets out how the council plans to do this. We would like to hear from residents, businesses and groups across the borough to help Cabinet shape the final proposals.”

Residents are being asked to give their feedback on the proposals.

Anyone wishing to make a comment they should visit the consultation will run until January 1.