New year, new budget.

Haslemere Town Council has unanimously agreed on a 6.9 per cent council tax rise. The increase will see residents in Band D properties paying £55.52 in 2024-25, about £4.50 extra. This figure is still well below the national town council average, which in 2023-24 was £79.71. Farnham residents pay £73.21, with those in Petersfield paying £165.95.

The precept, the part of the budget funded by the public via council tax, is £438,540. The council’s overall expenditure is set at £489,035. 

The council said it “is satisfied that it has managed to balance the desire to keep any increases to a minimum while maintaining its ability to finance local projects and support local residents and organisations”.

The demand for revenue grants by local organisations has increased significantly this year, with total requests from existing and new recipients now more than £70,000, more than 80 per cent up on last year.