Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “While the demand for County Council services and financial pressures continues to increase, the careful approach we have taken in managing Hampshire’s finances is helping us fare better than many other authorities.”
“The extent of the financial challenges faced by all councils is well documented, and the difficulties some local authorities in other parts of the country face are widely reported.We have certainly had some difficult decisions to make. But we have done so in order to honour our commitment to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, while delivering the best services we can within the resources we have to Hampshire residents.”
“We have taken sensible and considered decisions around new borrowing to keep costs to a minimum. Our balanced investment strategy has yielded excellent returns in the current climate – with our higher yielding investments currently returning 4.76% at a time when base rates are 0.75%, and we have not resorted to some of the high risk property investments such as buying high street shops that some other councils have entered into.
“It is clear that the approach we have adopted around borrowing and investments has limited our exposure to risk. Our careful use of reserves over the years has allowed us to invest in other strategies, such as investing in new technology to deliver more efficient and cost effective ways of working which are minimising reductions to frontline services during these challenging financial times.”