Bucks Council proposes widespread increase to service charges including parking and sports activities

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Proposals have been put forward for the authority’s next budget

A hike in parking charges, funeral costs and sports pitch hire fees have been proposed by Buckinghamshire Council.

The unitary authority has put forward the measures as part of its budget for 2024/2025, which councillors are poring over this week before it is finalised in February.

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Charges generally align with inflation each year and help the council recover its costs and maintain services.

Bucks CouncilBucks Council
Bucks Council

Hikes in on and off-street parking, and at council-run car parks are among the rises in this year’s budget.

For example, the council has proposed to increase on-street parking at many spots across High Wycombe from 70p per hour in 2023/2024 to 90p for the upcoming financial year, and from £1.20 to £1.40 in Aylesbury.

Council car parks are also set to see increased charges, including Amersham Multi Storey, where a one-month permit will go from £108 to £118.80, while car parks in neighbouring Chesham will see the same permit creep up to £85.80 from £78.

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The council is also proposing increases to fees and charges for cemeteries, cremations and memorial services.

If approved, an adult’s cremation would go from £790 to £890, a five-line inscription in the book of remembrance from £97.80 to £118 and an ashes scattering in the garden of remembrance – where cremation has taken place elsewhere – from £43.60 to £60.

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Meanwhile, the cost of burial in an earthen grave plot (one or two full burials) would rise from £992 to £1,061, a plaque on a communal bench from £404.48 to £480 and a children’s butterfly plaque in a garden from £412.57 to £490.

Rises in the price of sports facility hire have also been proposed by the council, including in Aylesbury’s Meadowcroft Open Space Park.

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The cost of a full adult’s match on the grass pitch would rise from £90.40 to £97, while an adult’s cricket match there in the afternoon will go from £107.80 to £115.

It also proposed that insurance for any pitch hire rises from £3.80 to £4, while having the flood lights on will go from £35.90 to £38 per hour.

Bucks Council’s leader Martin Tett warned that such rises were necessary as he spoke about the “serious pressure” on the authority’s budget during a scrutiny session on Monday (8 January).

He also said he “took no pride” in cuts to services and admitted that residents would feel the pinch in several areas.

For a full list of the council’s proposed fees and charges, see here.