Archive for February, 2016
State-of-the-art, solar-powered car park meters are to be installed in East Hampshire District Council car parks to give drivers more ways to pay and display.
The council’s Cabinet agreed on Thursday (Feb 4) to spend nearly £110,000 replacing 27 out of date and obsolete coin-only meters in its 13 car parks in Alton and Petersfield.
The new meters will allow people to pay by debit and credit card as well as cash.
Councillors were told that the existing meters were more than ten years old and that parts were no longer available to repair them.
The council has already been testing a new meter in Central Car Park, Petersfield, and will now extend the scheme across its car parks in the district.
Cllr Richard Millard, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Contracts, said: “Our car parks are a vital part of our infrastructure so it is very important that we keep up to date with technology.
“The new meters will give people the best and easiest experience whether they are out shopping, on a business trip or visiting as tourists.”
Conservative run East Hampshire DC is set to cut its council tax by 2%, the only authority so far known to be contemplating a decrease this year.
LGC’s Council Tax Tracker http://www.lgcplus.com/politics-and-policy/finance/lgc-council-tax-tracker-2016/7001621.article?blocktitle=News&contentID=19120 has found financial pressures have forced most councils to propose increases http://www.lgcplus.com/politics-and-policy/finance/freeze-ends-as-almost-50-councils-plan-maximum-tax-hikes/7001732.article of 1.99% – just below the level that would trigger a local referendum – while almost all top tier councils are taking advantage of their new power to raise tax by a further 2% to pay for social care. Just six of the 28 districts for which LGC has so far obtained details of council tax intentions are proposing a freeze next year.
However, papers due to go to East Hampshire’s cabinet this week say council tax for a Band D property would be £134.58, down from the current charge of £137.33.
Leader Ferris Cowper (Con) said he hoped to end reliance on government grant by 2019-20 and reduce council tax to zero by 2024.
Cllr Cowper said East Hampshire would rely instead on “money-making business ventures, selling its services to other local authorities and through investment in blue-chip commercial properties”.
The council has started buying commercial property as an investment and so far owns five buildings including a bank, supermarket and offices.
These generate around £759,000 in annual rent, a sum it said exceeded the interest on equivalent cash deposits by around £650,000.