Both Hampshire and Rushmoor councils are raising council tax starting in April. Hampshire's increase is 7.9% and Rushmoor's is 4%. Inflation, on the other hand, is running at 2.6%.

From April people in Aldershot, Farnborough and throughout Rushmoor living in an average three bedroom semi (Band D) will pay £934. Of this about £734 will go to the county, £128 to Rushmoor and £75 to the police.

The county is congratulating itself that the rise is not higher and says that other counties will be raising their taxes even more.

All told, Hampshire will rake in £920.5 million and says it is not cutting any of its budgets, but that there will be no improvement to services.

Education and social care are the main costs to be met, but other costs include:

* Maintaining and improving more than 5,000 buildings owned by the county.

* Paying for storage of fridges because of Euro regulations

* £95,000 for an extra edition of the magazine 'Hampshire Now'

* £2-3million on corporate communications

* Finance for a South Hampshire Rapid Transit scheme in an attempt to reduce the number of car journeys by three million a year.

Said Coun Ken Thornber, Hampshire's Conservative leader: "Government is continuing to shift the financial burden on to local council taxpayers instead of itself funding increased costs in key services like social services.

"Only two-thirds of planned spending is funded centrally; the remaining third has to be met by the council tax. But where the government's spending plans do not enable us to provide adequate services the whole of the extra costs falls on the council taxpayer."

The county report mentioned escalating prices in care and nursing homes, increasing numbers of children and young adults with severe learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health problems and the increasing demands of a growing population of older people.

Rushmoor says its 4% rise will be only 10p per week per household on average.

The rise will pay for new recycling including the introduction of a second wheelie bin.

The new local budget also allows for improved services including:

* A borough-wide closed circuit television system;

* Park rangers to patrol the parks;

* A new skateboard park for Farnborough;

* Improvements in public toilets, play areas, the indoor pool, Princes Hall and Farnborough Recreation Centre;

* Mobile phone text messaging to advertise council events.

Rushmoor's leader, Coun John Marsh, said he was pleased with the plans and that 2% of the rise had been required for recycling by the government.