Portsmouth City Council’s administration has announced budget proposals set to address financial pressures without impacting services to residents.

Like councils across the country, Portsmouth is facing increasing demand and costs for social care services as well as the impact of inflation.

To address the situation, Portsmouth City Council’s administration is proposing £2m of savings to its revenue budget, which will be met through efficiencies and generating extra income without seeing any reduction in services to the public.

The proposals also include raising council tax in line with government’s expectation of 4.99%, 2% of which will go specifically towards funding adult social care. In total the council tax increase would raise £4.8m for the council and see the average Portsmouth home’s council tax bill increase by the equivalent of £1.23 per week.

The revenue budget savings need to come from £177m of council spending and will take the council’s total savings made in the last 13 years to £108m.

Alongside the revenue budget, which is for ongoing costs, a separate capital budget for one-off projects sees proposals for more than £33m of investment in a range of facilities across the city including transport schemes, school places, community safety initiatives, play parks and sports courts.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Leader of the council, said:

“I’m delighted we’re able to put forward a budget that addresses our financial pressures without reducing any services. While many councils are having to make cuts our priority has been to protect services and look at long-term investment to make sure we keep delivering what the city needs. This council and this administration have a record of responsible financial management which is why the savings we need to make here in Portsmouth are much lower than similar sized councils across the country.

“We never want to increase council tax, and it is particularly difficult to do at this time, but the funding government gives us is based on the assumption we will increase council tax by 4.99%, and it still isn’t enough to pay for everything we need without a small use of our reserves. Councils relying on significant use of reserves to balance budgets are increasingly finding themselves in severe financial distress and here in Portsmouth we will not allow that to happen. The only alternative to raising council tax, is to reduce services that people rely on and doing that would hurt our residents even more, especially those who rely on them the most.”

The budget proposals will be considered at the council’s Cabinet meeting on 6 February and if accepted will then go to the Full Council meeting on 13 February for approval.