HUNDREDS of fees and charges across Teignbridge will go up from tomorrow.
The hike is an attempt to save essential services to fill a financial ‘black hole’ and prevent the district council going bankrupt.
An extraordinary meeting of the full Teignbridge Council heard tough decisions had to be made, and the fees had to rise quickly. It means the council will have put up its prices twice in a year for the first time.
Car park charges will increase and it will cost more to be buried, sail a model boat or keep a dangerous animal, among a raft of rising costs. Many other fees are staying the same, however. The move will provide the council with extra income of £346,050 a year, a rise of just over three per cent.
Reasons for the financial squeeze on the council include higher-than-expected wage increases, falling income from recycling sales and rising inflation, as well as dwindling government support.
Deputy council leader Richard Keeling (Lib Dem, Chudleigh) said: “We occasionally have to make tough decisions, and we have to make one now.
“This is essential to protect frontline services. All councils are, and have been for a number of years, underfunded by this government. Difficult choices have to be made in a cost-of-living crisis, and it is essential that we generate sufficient income to maintain the services on which local residents rely.
“Other councils are facing bankruptcy, but this cannot be an option for Teignbridge. We can no longer bury our heads in the sand and wait for the government to come to our aid, because they are not coming.”
The new charges will come into effect from this Sunday.
“This has to be brought forward at pace,” said Cllr Keeling. “We need to get things in place so we can fill the black hole created by the government.”