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Highland Life / News / Highland Council News / Charging for Council Services

Charging for Council Services

Issued: 16 Jun 2010

In week six of its Budget Blog, The Highland Council is asking if users of services are prepared to pay more for the services they receive from the Council to ease the impact of public spending cutbacks.

The Council already charges for a range of services, including school meals, hire of rooms and facilities, commercial refuse collection, leisure centre use, car parking, and burials. It receives income of approximately £68 million from these charges.

By increasing charges over and above inflation, the Council estimates it could inject £3.7 million into the budget over the next two years and ease the need for savings.

Budget Leader Councillor David Alston said on the blog that some charges are set externally, for example planning fees. If the Council increased other charges, or introduced new charges, that would reduce some of the cuts in service the Council was having to consider. The Council would continue to offer concessionary arrangements and discounts to avoid charging certain service users.

He said: "It is really important that people tell us what they think as this proposal could impact upon everyone."

The blog is one of a number of ways the Council is consulting over options that have been proposed by Services to identify budget savings of £36 million over the next three years.

These options are set out in two budget documents which can be accessed via the home page of our web site: www.highland.gov.uk/ The blog closes at the end of this month

At the same time, the Council is holding a series of public meetings to highlight the financial challenges facing the Council

Other ward forums to discuss the budget are scheduled as follows:

* 17 June: Cromarty Firth Ward Forum - Ardross Hall
* 18 June: Highland Youth Voice - Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Sleat, Skye
* 21 June: Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh Ward Forum - Lochcarron
* 22 June: Inverness City Ward Forum - Town House, Inverness
* 23 June: Badenoch and Strathspey Ward Forum - Boat of Garten Hall
* 30 June: Nairn Ward Forum - Rosebank Primary, Nairn

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme