RESIDENTS of Test Valley are facing a tax increase for the coming year.

Test Valley Borough Council is putting forward a £5 annual rise before cabinet later this month.

The council say that the rise, which works out at least then 10p each week, will help towards playgrounds, leisure facilities and improving disabled access across the borough.

The proposals will go towards the cabinet on February 14 where they will be finalised.

It means Band D properties will rise annually from paying £136 to £141.

Economic portfolio holder, councillor Peter Giddings, said: "Our council tax is the 26th lowest of all the 201 district councils in the country and despite central government spending reductions, we are still able to continue to invest in our residents, communities and businesses.

"We are investing over £450,000 in 28 playgrounds across the borough as well as other new and improved leisure facilities such as play areas and fitness trails.

"We continue to award grants to new businesses and for improved disabled facilities, develop our towns with the Town Mills Project and Romsey enhancement works and help to provide affordable housing."

From the 2008 –2009 financial year, the council has cut almost £12 million from its budget.

Cllr Giddings added: "Our central government revenue support grant has reduced by 98.2 per cent in the last five years from £3.1 million to only £56,000 next year, and will end entirely in 2019 – 2020.

"To counteract that, our successful project enterprise investments in commercial property and housing have helped generate some replacement income.

"In fact, we are due to receive £1.3 million more income this year than if we had kept our money in the bank."

Project enterprise was established in 2014 to increase the income generated by the council from its investments and reduce its reliance on the government's revenue support grant.

It includes investment in a number of properties to generate additional cash.

The final recommendations from the cabinet meeting later this month will be considered by the council on February 23.