CIVIC chiefs at Hampshire council are to freeze tax next year for the ninth year running.

Eastleigh Borough Council bosses have announced their decision not to impose any increase in the authority's yearly bill for 2018.

The authority's council tax has been frozen for the past eight years.

Now the proposal is set to be discussed on February 2018.

Keith House, council leader at Eastleigh Borough Council, said: " We have done so through sound financial investment and efficiency that has raised income for the council and created jobs and investment along the way, such as the superb Hilton Hotel at the Ageas Bowl.

"It is unfortunate that the county Conservative have not followed this approach, with a 10 per cent tax increase over two years and savage cuts to services such as school crossing patrols, bus services and waste tips planned."

But Judith Grajewski, opposition councillor and leader of the Conservative group, said the county council has made progress on a range of alternative funding options for services including school crossing patrols and household waste recycling centres.

And added: " Cllr House likes to spin the Council Tax Freeze line while quietly getting on with hiking the stealth taxes. This is becoming an annual event whereby residents are hit with 'stealth taxes' as the council tries to plug the holes in its finances. "