Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Majority of Portsmouth 'would support a council tax rise'

The majority of Portsmouth residents would support a council tax increase to curb budget cuts, a survey has shown.

The city council needs to make £37m of savings over three years.

The council-run survey, which had 2,460 responses, showed 85% of residents would accept a council tax increase of between 1% and 4%.

Council leader Donna Jones said the survey results "showed a recognition of the stark choices the council faces".

'Sense of realism'

The Conservative councillor added that the survey questions, which received responses from residents as well as staff and panel members, reflected "an honest choice of the options the council has available".

Cutting resident parking permits or at least charging for the first permit per household, currently free, came high on the list for residents.

Nearly 47% think there should be a charge, and 54% would cut the service altogether if faced with cutting three services.

The next two services that residents would cut would be subsidised buses and substance misuse help.

Other key findings include that more than half of residents would impose a charge for bulky waste collections, increased allotment charges and reduced council tax support.

Services residents believe should be protected are those for the vulnerable and children.

The budget will be discussed at a full council meeting on 9 December.

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