Civic chiefs agreed an increase to council tax to help fund the latest budget.

Winchester City Council's cabinet discussed the budget at the meeting on February 9.

They agreed that band D will be £155.29, an increase of £4 and an average council tax increase of 2.65 per cent.

Also, council tax for the special expenses in the Winchester Town area at Band D will go up by 5.5 per cent to £80.93, an increase of £4.22.

The budget outlined six main areas of funding. They are: greener faster (£250k), future of waste (£500k), pride in place (£150k), digital transformation (£400k), regeneration (£300k) and cost of living/living well (£170k).

The greener faster area refers to the council's target of becoming a carbon neutral local authority by 2024 and the wider district to be carbon neutral by 2030. The future of waste will see new services for food waste recycling collection in early 2025.

Digital transformation is an improvement of online services and regeneration refers to projects such as Central Winchester Regeneration.

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Other areas of the budget include increasing the Town Forum bus shelter replacement programme by £10k per year. Also, increasing the tree works budget by £78k per year.

The cabinet agreed to recommend a freeze to proposed grant funding reductions to the Hampshire Cultural Trust at a cost of £43k a year.

Cllr Kelsie Learney said: "Local government finance is very complex. Carbon neutrality is the overarching target for the council. I strongly support this budget, in difficult times we're in a much better position than other councils."

Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith said: "I welcome the items on pride of place. We have started to turn this around, it's very sensible. Getting this fund in place is essential." 

Cllr Jackie Porter said: “We are committed to helping residents who can't cope with digital transformation. We don't want to exclude people.”

The cabinet agreed to recommend the budget to full council which meets on February 23.