Time is running out to share your views on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s draft Council Plan and budget proposals.

The draft Council Plan for 2020 to 2024 sets the key priorities for the council over the next four years and into the future, building on key council policies and Horizon 2050 which was developed with key partners across the borough.

With a focus on putting residents at the heart of everything the council does, four priorities have been developed – strengthening communities, protecting and enhancing our environment, improving safety and planning for the future.

Supporting this, views are being sought on proposals for a budget that protects services while keeping council tax low.

A proposed £5 average increase for the borough council part of the council tax for 2020/21 is likely to keep it the lowest of the districts in Hampshire, and most of the rest of the country.

Services that residents value – like weekly bin collections, community safety patrols and ongoing support for communities and vulnerable residents – are funded as part of plans for a balanced budget over the next year.

As well as a small increase in council tax, proposals to balance the budget include a 3% average increase in fees and charges to help pay for the costs of these services without putting the burden on council tax payers. It is also proposed to increase Sunday parking charges, like other operators, in council owned car parks in line with weekdays and Saturdays.

Over the last 11 years £13.7 million in savings have been made without cutting services, with the borough council continuing to look at how it can run more efficiently.

Cabinet Member for Finance and Service Improvement Cllr Hannah Golding said: “We know our residents love living in Basingstoke and Deane and we want to ensure the borough continues to be a great place to live and work.

“We have listened to what matters most to people and the draft Council Plan sets priorities that put residents at the heart of the council’s future plans.

“This is supported by the council’s proposals to deliver a balanced budget for 2020 to 2021 so we can continue delivering services that our residents value, investing in our communities and preparing for the borough’s future success through a number of major projects.

“As residents, businesses and partner organisations are key to the success of these plans, we would like to hear from a range of people to help shape our proposals.”

Feedback from the consultation, which runs until Wednesday 1st January at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/priorities, will be considered before final decisions about the Council Plan are taken at a Council meeting in February.