Still time to have your say on future services in Hampshire

The clock is ticking for people to have their say on key proposals to change and reduce some local services in future to help Hampshire County Council address a £132 million budget shortfall faced by April 2025

Feb 29 2024

The Future Services Consultation which opened on 8 January, closes at 11:59pm on 31 March 2024.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Rob Humby said: “Hampshire has always taken a very careful and responsible approach to managing public money effectively on behalf of the county’s 1.4million residents. But with rising costs and demand in vital areas such as children and adults’ social care, our funds just don’t stretch as far as they used to. This is a situation many other local councils also face nationwide, and ever since I became Leader, I have lobbied hard for crucial national changes that are needed to how local government is funded as the situation simply isn’t sustainable, and many councils are now facing major budget pressures in the future. 
“Hampshire is in a better position than many other councils however, having spent over a decade focused on working differently and even more efficiently, generating income and sharing resources with other public sector organisations, as well as disposing of land and buildings we no longer need. Plus, our reserves have proven to be a financial lifeline to plug budget shortfalls along the way. However, by 2025/26, those reserves will come to an end, so we’re left with the very difficult decision of what services we continue to deliver in future if we’re to ensure we can keep supporting those residents who desperately need our help the most – children at risk of harm, abuse or neglect, adults and children with disabilities and additional needs and higher numbers of older people with very complex social care needs. 

“Having launched the consultation at the start of the year, we have received many responses to date, and I wish to thank everyone who has participated so far by providing their feedback on the 13 proposals to help lower costs in future, and what it might mean for residents if we were to do things differently after April 2025. We would encourage anyone who hasn’t already fed back to us to complete the consultation before 31 March.” 

The list of the areas being consulted on covers:

Adult social care charges: Proposals to change the way contributions towards non-residential social care costs are calculated, so that the amount someone pays towards their non-residential care and support increases from 95% to 100% of any assessable income remaining once standard outgoings are paid for and an allowance is made for general living costs such as food, utility bills and clothing.
Adult social care grant schemes: To withdraw funding for three Adult Social Care grant programmes that assist voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations in Hampshire, namely the Council for Voluntary Services Infrastructure Grant, the Citizens Advice Infrastructure Grant and the Local Solutions Grant.
Competitive (one-off) grant schemes: To withdraw three competitive grant schemes which provide one-off grants to a range of community groups and organisations; namely the Leader’s Community Grants, the Rural Communities Fund (including country shows) and the Parish and Town Council Investment Fund.
Hampshire Cultural Trust grant: To reduce the amount of grant given to Hampshire Cultural Trust to manage and deliver arts and museums services.
Highways maintenance: To reduce planned highways maintenance activities, incorporating larger-scale structural repairs, surface treatments on roads, and drainage improvements.
Highways winter service: To comprehensively review and revise the criteria used to determine which roads should be treated as part of the Priority One network to better align with current national guidance and reflect changes in travelling and commuting patterns, and to update the routes accordingly.
Homelessness Support Services: To stop funding services that the County Council does not have a legal requirement to provide, that support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs): To provide a sustainable, cost-effective and fit for purpose Household Waste Recycling service within a reduced budget. This might involve introducing charging for discretionary services, implementing alternative delivery models, reducing opening days and/or hours or reducing the number of HWRCs.
Library stock: To reduce how much is spent on new library stock, such as books and digital resources, each year.
Passenger transport: To reduce the amount of money spent on passenger transport by withdrawing all remaining funding that the County Council is not legally required to provide. This includes funding for community transport services (incorporating Dial-a-Ride, Call and Go, Taxi Shares, Group Hire Services, and Wheels to Work), subsidies for bus routes that are not commercially viable, additional funding to extend the Concessionary Travel Scheme (older and disabled persons bus passes) and a review of the potential impact of reductions on the school transport service and social care budgets.
Rural countryside parking: To introduce car parking charges at rural countryside car parks (such as nature reserves and conservation sites) that the County Council manages, where it is expected that doing so would be commercially viable.
School Crossing Patrols: To review the School Crossing Patrols (SCP) service by looking at each SCP site to decide if alternative safety measures exist or could be put in place that would enable the SCP to be safely withdrawn or be funded by other organisations.
Street lighting: To reduce the brightness of streetlights further and to extend the periods that streetlights are switched off during the night (by 2 hours) – where it is considered safe and appropriate to do so. 

How to provide your views

Take part in the consultation by filling in the online form on the County Council’s website:   
Responses can also be emailed directly to Hampshire County Council via: [email protected] or write to Freepost HAMPSHIRE. (Please also write PandO, IEU, FM09 on the back of the envelope). 

Copies of the information packs and the consultation Response Form, along with Easy Read versions of these documents, are available to view, download and print on the consultation webpage: 

Additionally, each Hampshire library holds a standard reference copy of the Information Packs and a number of paper Response Forms. 
We are encouraging people to consider completing the consultation Response Form online, where possible, as this will help save money, both in postage and in staff time in manually entering responses into the consultation. 

For any queries about the consultation or if residents do need to request a paper copy of the Information Pack or the Response Form, or a copy in another language or format (such as audio, large print, or Braille) please contact: [email protected], or call: 0300 555 1375 

Consultation feedback will be collated and used to inform decisions by the County Council’s Cabinet this summer.