Rother charges could rise - from green waste collections to annual parking permits
Charges for a wide range of council services could rise next year, if proposals are given the go ahead by Rother’s cabinet.
On Monday (November 1), Rother District Council cabinet members are set to decide whether to increase what the authority charges for a number of its services in the next financial year, as well as introduce a number of new charges.
The proposals cover a wide range of services, including booking fees for sports pitches, beach hut licences, parking permits and the annual cost of garden waste collections.
In a report to cabinet, a council officer said: “The increases recommended within this report support the Medium-Term Financial Strategy of the council, ensure that non-statutory services are broadly self-funding and ensure that income levels are protected against the effects of inflation.
“Members are requested to consider the proposals and determine the range of charges applying for 2022/23.”
Most of the increased charges are set to rise by 4.8 per cent, which the council says is intended to cover the cost of inflation.
These include: booking fees for tennis courts and sports pitches; the cost of holding events on council-owned land; allotment rents; cemetery fees; commercial fishing boat site fees; and sailing/angling boat site fees.
The proposals would also see the council increase the cost of annual parking permits as well.
The cost of an annual permit which can be used at any council car park would increase from £819 to £858 per year, while the cost of annual permit for a single nominated car park would increase from £323 to £350 per year.
The cost of a permit at one of the council’s long stay car parks would not increase (it is also currently £323 per year).
Notably, however, the council is not intending to increase its pay and display fees at the same time. It says this largely because it is unclear what impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on demand and the cost of altering the prices would be somewhere in the region of £8,000 to £10,000.
The only exception would be the summer tariffs at Camber Western car park, which are set to increase.
Another notable increase would be the transfer fee the council charges when beach huts change hands. Currently the council charges either 10 per cent of the sale price or a minimum charge £1,583.
This minimum charge would increase to £2,000 under the proposals.
The cost of annual beach hut licences are also set to increase, from £530 to £560. The seasonal tent site licences would increase at a lower rate, increasing from £368 to £386.
The council would also increase the cost of garden waste collections from £45 to £50 per annum
The proposals also include a number of brand new charges for things which were previously free.
For example, the council would begin charging groups to use its public spaces for outdoor activity sessions.
The council says it is introducing these charges as it has a duty of care for people using its land in this way and it needs to be assured the activities are safe and that appropriate safeguarding measures are in place.
Even so, the charges would differentiate between commercial and charity operators. A commercial operator would be charged a £50 annual admin fee plus either £10 or £20 per session, depending on if they were using the land for more than an hour.
A charity group would be expected to pay a £10 annual admin fee plus either £3 or £5 per session.
The council would also start charging for out-of-season (October to March) bookings at its tennis courts in Egerton Park. The council would begin charging 75p for members of the public and £1 for coaches during these colder months.
Coaches would also be expected to begin paying an annual £50 administration fee enabling their Lawn Tennis Association credentials to be checked. However, this would come with some slightly enhanced booking rights whereby they could book up to 10 weeks in advance compared to eight weeks for members of the public.
In season bookings for coaches would rise from £1.50 to £2 as part of the inflationary increase (although the fees for members of the public would not increase at the same time).
As is currently the case, people can also access courts free of charge as long as they are not in use by a paying customer.