Cabinet members are to consider proposals on Thursday 12 January which, if approved, will see many of the charges the council makes for some of its services increase by 10% in the next financial year (2023-24).
Like most councils, Thanet levies charges for services provided for only some local residents. If income wasn’t raised in this way, it wouldn’t be possible to provide so many services – and it would mean that the general taxpayer would be subsidising services only used by a part of the population.
There will be changes in pricing to most of the services where the council currently makes charges. These include:
- introducing a new pricing structure for bulky waste – which will benefit customers who only have one smaller item for disposal;
- increasing the fee for collecting garden waste to an annual charge of £65, up from £55, to just over £1 a week, to cover rising costs such as the fuel used by the collection lorries;
- increasing the charges for companies filming in the area, with the cost for larger productions over 75 people proposed to increase by 50% to £1,500 per day;
- and a small increase in allotment fees for the first time in three years.
The proposals are expected to generate additional income of around £595,000, all of which will go towards maintaining the services provided for local people.
Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor David Saunders, said: “With unprecedented levels of inflation impacting on running costs such as fuel, utilities and staffing, uncertain levels of government funding and restrictions around increases in Council Tax, local councils have become more reliant than ever on locally generated sources of income such as fees and charges.
“In order to run the efficient services our customers expect, we need to approach the setting of our fees and charges commercially to maximise our income streams and to handle the pressures we face around rising costs.
“Clearly this has to be done in a way which manages the impact on our residents and service users as carefully as possible. To support this a robust review has been undertaken which started in the summer, benchmarking our fees and charges with other areas and exploring whether charges which have remained at the same level for some time, could now be increased.
“My thanks go to the Fees and Charges Cabinet Advisory Group for their suggestions and recommendations as part of this process. It’s critical that we provide an opportunity for Councillors from across the political spectrum to help shape these difficult decisions.”
Charges for on and off street parking will also be increased by 10%, with the primary goal being to manage traffic congestion. This is especially important now that customer demand for car parking has largely returned to pre-pandemic levels. The outcome of this increase will mean a £95k contribution to running council services from off-street parking income.
Similar increases in on-street car parking charges will see a rise in annual income of £100k.
A refresh of the council’s Car Parking Strategy will be ready in time for setting the council’s next budget in February 2024. It will include a review of the potential for introducing car parking discounts for residents.
All of the proposals due to be discussed can be viewed in the Cabinet report which is available on our website.
After the Cabinet meeting, the proposals will be subject to final approval at Full Council in February.