Council services price rise planned to increase revenue

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:41 13 April 2018

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North Somerset Council is to increase charges for items such as meeting rooms, equipment and children’s birthday parties.

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Increases of between five and 10 per cent are to be implemented on a range of services offered by the council in a bid to raise more cash to ‘achieve its objectives’ and income targets laid out in its new budget.

No consultation has been conducted on the new charges, in line with council policy.

The biggest rise in charges is the 10 per cent increase in the cost of renting the The Campus, in Worle, for children’s parties, which will cost £55 for three hours in the 2018/19 financial year.

Room rental costs at Locking Castle Children’s Centre and Castle Batch have increased by nine per cent – as has the cost of hiring a sports instructor, which has swelled to £35 per hour.

The cost of renting meeting rooms at The Campus will rise by five per cent from £9.50 to £10 per hour.

The cost of equipment hire, including the use of projectors, flip charts and display boards will grow by 50p to £9.50 – an increase of six per cent.

The increase comes just weeks after North Somerset announced it would increase council tax by 2.99 per cent, with an additional three per cent ringfenced for adult social care.

Felicity Baker, the council’s executive member for community services, libraries, tourism and leisure, is due to authorise the increases ahead of the council’s executive meeting on Tuesday.

In the decision notice, she wrote: “Fees and charges represent an important source of income, providing funding to assist in achieving the council’s objectives.

“Raising revenue from charges for services is an important element in the overall financing of council services and activities and helps to deliver service and strategic objectives.

“Consideration is therefore given, on a regular basis, to the scope for raising revenue through charges for services and to reviewing the appropriateness and adequacy of the levels of charges being proposed or actually in force.

“The changes are in accordance with the council’s policy guidance and principles and, as such, no consultation has been undertaken.”

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