THE growing economy is boosting the finances of Winchester City Council, a meeting heard.

The Cabinet heard that income from parking and business rates was higher than budgeted for.

Revenue from parking was up £319,000, five per cent higher than budgeted, land charges up £92,000, and business rates collection was £1.7 million above what was expected.

Finance portfolio holder Stephen Godfrey said: “It has been another good year for finances. On parking that has been the trend for the last few years. We expect that to continue.

“Over the last three years we have not increased parking charges but income has continued to increase.”

But chief executive Simon Eden warned austerity could last until 2020 and the council would continue to “not spend when we don’t need to.”