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Councillor Harry Verney proposes Hampshire-wide flood tax
4:10pm Sunday 13th July 2014 in Winchester
A WINCHESTER councillor wants Hampshire residents to pay a levy to help those affected by flooding.
After the severe floods, city councillor Harry Verney has written to leader of Hampshire County Council, Roy Perry, to ask for a one-off tax increase which could produce up to £30 million.
Cllr Verney suggests Hampshire imposes a one-off levy to raise £20-30m.
He said: “I am sure the public would be sympathetic to those who have suffered already and happily bear the very small extra burden if they felt it would produce some real solutions to the problem which are undoubtedly going to cost money.”
Mr Verney raised special concerns about Bramdean, where the A272 was closed for several weeks. He predicted the village will be hit again this autumn: “It’s four months until Bramdean is flooded again and the county council haven’t surveyed the drains yet. They promised to do it at the end of April. Absolutely nothing has happened in Bramdean. I have no confidence in Hampshire County Council.”
Mr Perry said he disagrees with the proposal.
“I admire Harry Verney for the verve with which he represents his area. I cannot agree with him however on a special flood levy. In Hampshire we are certainly take steps to help avoid and alleviate as far as possible future floods.
“We will commit funds to deal with flood measures. We will push for more funding from Government to help including improvements to the Bellwin scheme but I prefer to down that route than raising taxes.”
He added: “We have not increased Hampshire’s council tax for five years. We have the lowest council tax in the south east region and we owe it to Hampshire's tax payers to keep it that way.”