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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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New budget will see rise in parking and cemetery costs

A BUDGET that will see parking, cemetery and cremation fees go up has been formally agreed by Copeland Council.

By Andrew Clarke

Councillors unanimously voted to accept the 2014-15 budget that will also see Copeland’s share of council tax rise by 1.95 per cent, which in effect imposes a half-a-per-cent rise on each household.

From April, cremation and cemetery fees will go up by around £30. Paying to park will cost more too on the council’s car parks, between 10p and 20p an hour.

The budget-setting meeting heard that on top of the significant cuts of £2.6million already made, additional savings of £160,000 are required for 2014/15.

Coun Gillian Troughton, portfolio holder for finance, said: “We are under immense budgetary pressure from central government, but we are striving to protect the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Her opposite number, Conservative Alistair Norwood, added: “We have had to make difficult and unpopular decisions, however I am disappointed that we are increasing council tax and putting up parking charges in towns that are already struggling.”

One member of the public who responded to the council’s consultation had suggested a day’s free parking but this was rejected on grounds of cost to the council, around £2,000 a day in loss of income and costly changes to its monitoring equipment and enforcement procedures.

The increase to crematorium and cemetery fees is in line with inflation and the council expects these rises to bring £27,000 into its coffers, together with a further £13,000 from increased car parking charges.

A proposed £10 charge to fund improvements to online bereavement services has been postponed for a year, but a two-line entry in the crematorium’s book of remembrance will now cost £73 – £2 more than currently.

The budget also includes £69,000 to meet a one per cent increase in national pay rates for its employees and an extra £82,000 has been included for the increase in pension contributions.

Consultation with the public on its budget proposals had brought few responses – 13 and none from businesses.

Have your say

How spineless once more hitting shoppers and the bereaved with these stupid prices.

Posted by john spurr on 12 March 2014 at 23:01

isn't it strange how £69.000 can be found for council workers pay rises.
And £82.000for pensions

Posted by bill on 10 March 2014 at 20:37

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