(published November 2022)

On Monday (14th November) Councillor Rob Humby, Leader of Hampshire County Council, sent a letter jointly with the Leader of Kent County Council to the Prime Minister warning that without intervention both Councils would become financially unviable within the next few years.

The contents of the letter should not come as a surprise to anyone who has heard me speak about Hampshire County Council’s financial position at Town and Parish Council meetings over recent years.

While I welcome the prominence being given to the letter, unfortunately some media outlets have given the misleading impression that the letter indicates that Hampshire County Council is at imminent risk of going bankrupt, this is far from the case.

Hampshire has consistently made incredibly difficult decisions to make the necessary savings in order to protect key service areas, such the Children’s and Adults’ services, protecting out most vulnerable and at-risk residents.

Making these tough and often unpopular decisions in a timely way, along with robust financial management, means that Hampshire will be one of the last upper-tier local authorities to arrive at the cliff edge of effective bankruptcy.

However, without either changes to the statutory framework the Council operates under and/or additional funding, we will come to that cliff edge and the knowledge that Hampshire will be one of the last to get there is of no solace.

A copy of the letter in full can be viewed here.

Councillor Edward Heron

Executive Lead Member for Transport and Environment Strategy

Lyndhurst & Fordingbridge Division

Hampshire County Council