TEST Valley civic chiefs are due to rubber stamp its latest council tax rise.

It will increase by 3.14 per cent which is below current inflation levels and the Hampshire County Council increase of 4.99 per cent.

Test Valley Borough Council's budget will be agreed at its full council meeting on Thursday, February 29. 

In order to protect its most vulnerable residents, the council recently approved its council tax support scheme, for low-income households, to minimise the impact of the proposed increase.

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Cllr Maureen Flood, finance portfolio holder, said: “Local authorities across the country have had a difficult few years, and Test Valley Borough Council has been no exception. However, thanks to our hard work, and being careful with our money, we find ourselves in a strong financial position. 

“Any increases made to council tax are always difficult but are important to make sure that we are able to keep providing our vital services to the public, including bin collections, maintaining green and open spaces, housing and homelessness, planning and much more. It will also help with our ambitious plans to regenerate both Andover and Romsey town centres. At an increase of 3.14 per cent, we are still below the national inflation rates and believe it provides excellent value to our residents.”

The budget will be considered at the council meeting on Thursday, February 29.