The free hour’s parking in borough council-run car parks in Basingstoke town centre is set to continue next year.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet last night (Tuesday 5 December) agreed proposals for fees and charges for paid-for council services from April 2018 as part of the budget consultation.
The freeze in the daytime, Sunday and Bank Holiday parking charges would continue to make the charges lower than those in other centres, with two hours in Basingstoke’s Central car park costing £2, compared to up to £2.80 in Winchester and £4 in Reading. No increase in residents’ parking or visitors’ permits is also proposed.
Overnight charges, that have not changed in a number of years, could rise by a pound. However it is suggested that night time charges start later at 7pm, meaning the free hour is extended up to 6pm. Five-day and seven-day season tickets are proposed to increase by between 3% and 5%, depending on the car park. The increases will contribute to over £615,000 the council is investing to improve facilities in car parks, including new ticket machines.
Other fees and charges overall are only set to rise by an average of 3.5%, to allow for inflation.
Increases in cemetery charges are the second part of a four year programme aimed at reducing the subsidy for the service. But they will still be amongst the lowest in Hampshire and the region.
In line with most neighbouring authorities in Hampshire, a charge is proposed to replace lost or stolen bins of £26, based on the charge to the council of the new bin and delivery. As part of the council’s drive to increase recycling there is no charge for replacement green bins or glass boxes.
The cost of garden waste collections is proposed to go up from £31.78 to £35 a year for two sacks collected fortnightly. This is so that users are paying more of the cost of the service rather general council tax payers but the proposals would still make the service good value, with charges at the lower end of those made by neighbouring authorities.
Cabinet Member for Finance, Service Delivery and Improvement Cllr Robert Tate said: “Reasonable fees and charges are part of our proposals for a balanced budget. Charges that help to recover the costs for services like parking and planning on a ‘user pays’ basis lessen the burden on council tax payers, while still making them good value. This budget would only see the average household pay just £5 per year more in council tax – likely to be one of the lowest districts in Hampshire - despite increasing demand for services and a challenging financial climate.”
Fees and charges are part of the budget proposals that are out for consultation until Friday 15 December at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/budget2018. Feedback from the consultation will be considered before the final decision on the budget is taken at February’s Council meeting.