Price hikes for parking permits, sports pitches and more planned

Overall, the increases would mean the council earns an extra £1million next year
By Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor

Stock image (credit: Pixabay)
Stock image (credit: Pixabay)

Parking permits, getting married at the town hall and renting sports pitches in Waltham Forest are all set to get more expensive next April.

A report prepared for Waltham Forest Council leaders last week set out plans to increase a wide range of council fees and charges next financial year.

Most fees would increase by 5%, which the council notes is half the current rate of inflation under the consumer price index.

Overall, the increases would mean the council earns an extra £1million next year, bringing its total incomes from fees and charges to £43.6m.

The report states: “The council must consider countervailing factors when reviewing fees and, in particular, its difficult financial position and need to limit the risk of making substantial savings.”

The council’s biggest earner is parking charges, which it hopes will bring in an estimated £28.8m next year. Money from parking is ring-fenced for “road maintenance, transport related improvement projects”.

Annual residents’ permits will all increase by 5-13%, depending on the emissions rating of each vehicle. For a standard car,  the annual cost will increase by £5 to £60 per year.

On-street pay and display parking permits for businesses will also increase by 2-14%, depending on the emissions rating of the vehicle.

Use of council-owned carparks and on-street parking bays will also increase by around 10p per hour.

Other charges set to rise by around 5% include the cost of sports pitches, music lessons, adult social care charges, cemeteries and advertising in Waltham Forest News.

However, certain charges are set to increase by 10% or more, including hiring rooms at libraries, private functions at sports centres and land registry searches.

A 10% increase to marriage and civil partnership ceremonies will bring the cost of using the council chamber up by £45 to £495 on a weekday morning, costing even more at other times of the week.

Paid consultation of the council by developers through pre-application advice, which brings in £1.7m per year, is set to increase by 10-30%. Consulting on major proposals will cost £3,580 – £9,315 from April.

According to the report, increases to social care charges will only affect “full cost payers”, who have more than £23,250 in their bank account.

Elderly residents of council-run care homes Alliston House, George Mason Lodge and Mapleton Road will face a weekly rent increase of £52 to £1,077.

While some charges are going up, costs of adult learning courses and hiring open spaces or allotments will see little or no increase.

Charges for collection of bulky waste, white goods and house clearances will become free next year, dropping from up to £168.